Automotive painters vying to take home the title of National Paint Champion were tasked with a pre-show qualifier to impress judges with their skills, then designing the most impressive Vauxhall Corsa car bonnet within a 50-hour deadline to demonstrate their classic paint technique, inspired by the creative theme of Mobility Royale.
The live awards ceremony crowned Jack Smith from Forged from Flake as National Paint Champion, who scooped the top accolade and a cash prize of £4,000. Rhisiart Griffith from RWG Built was the Championships’ runner up, taking home a prize of £1,700.
As well as the main honour Smith also collected the People’s Choice award, voted for by Automechanika Birmingham visitors, worth an additional £2,500.
Jack Smith, winner of the competition and the new National Paint Champion, said: “I’m over the moon to win the Championships. The strength of the final and quality on display was so high. I’m really happy that my technique and creativity shone through and I’m thankful for the opportunity to really show off the level of talent across the industry, and also to my boss Dave for letting me have the time off to compete!
“I do a lot of low rider paint jobs so it’s a style that comes naturally to me. It took over 47 hours so I was really pleased to get it done.”
Runner-up Rhisiart Griffith said: “Taking part was a real experience and winning would have been a huge bonus, so I’m chuffed to come away with second place. The design was a play on the Royalty theme – the cup of tea is a staple in bodyshops everywhere so having that with a crown in was a subtle nod to that.”
Alex Jones, marketing manager at Messe Frankfurt UK, organisers of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “It’s been fantastic to host the National Paint Championships and the level of skill and creativity demonstrated by our finalists was phenomenal.
“We’re very grateful to our star-studded judging panel for their diligent deliberation selecting this year’s winners and for sharing their rich industry knowledge to pick out a worthy winner.
“We hope all our finalists were inspired by the tournament and maybe our exhibition visitors interested in making their mark in the trade will be inspired to hone some new skills.”
As well as Smith and Griffith, making it to the final were Rob Hendrick from Brit Built Customs Ltd; Julian Woodstock from Colchester College; Becca Denton from Bex Airbrushing; Ian Boultwood from Bespoke Autostyling, Ashleigh Shaw from Autobodyworx, and Hannah Pusey from Sprayaway Group Limited working with Airartz.
An esteemed panel of professionals from the bodyshop and collision repair industry decided the competition’s winners. The panel included Rachel Murray, finisher and owner of Paint by Rach; Michael Massey, global paint finishing platform application engineer for the 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division; Simon Wait, head of editorial at Bodyshop Magazine; Jordan Salt, managing director of R+R Coatings; Sunny Yip, car body repair technician of Auto Spray; and Craig Bourke, aka The_Specky_Painter.