After the race: Belgian duo who carefully replicate race liveries – and then mess them up
Yes, these are real Porsche panels, and no, they haven’t come straight off the race track. They are the work of Jean-Denis Claessens and ‘Pogo’ Thonnard who collaborate as ‘After the Race’ – which sums up the idea. Car panels beautifully painted in race liveries – and then scuffed, messed and muddied as if they’ve been through 24 hours at Spa.
Jean-Denis is a car fan who has raced, rallied and goes to many big events, but he had to educate Pogo who is a street artist, stage designer and rock singer. “I took him to the Nürburgring 24 Hours to learn about the rubber, the oil, the scars a car picks up in a race,” says Jean-Denis, who is inspired by the art cars that have run at Le Mans.
“We find used panels,” he continues, “as they already have a life, some soul.” Then they reproduce a paint scheme from a particular event: Jean-Denis, a graphic artist, hand-cuts stencils for logos and they paint with spray cans. Finally they apply the muck. Which is? “We use engine oil from Porsche 911s, real mud I bring from rallies and other things. It’s kind of a secret. But we go crazy trying things. It’s all about showing the speed.”
As a cheaper option they also work on lightweight GRP Porsche panels, and recently added simple boards with F1 liveries. “It’s kind of hard to find F1 panels,” JD grins. “And these are easier to hang than a whole bonnet.”
Especially if it’s an Aston DBR9 item, a commission they had to engineer from a plain DB9, including fabricating the scoops and swoops. Make sure your wall is strong.