For a small island, Great Britain has produced a disproportionate amount of world class racing drivers. A rich automotive heritage is one factor, but another is a thriving grassroots motorsport scene that allows drivers to develop their skills. However, the viability of grassroots motorsport relies on the time and expertise of knowledgeable automotive suppliers. Staffordshire-based Klarius Products is one, providing quality exhausts that can help get drivers on the grid.
Gordon Fisher, Design Engineer at Klarius, continues: “We have a reputation as the largest manufacturer of aftermarket exhausts in the UK, but beyond road cars, we have a real passion for racing. Many of our team attend track days or follow motorsport, and I used to work as a mechanic racing touring cars. We regularly produce small batches of exhausts for spec series, or entirely custom designs for specific cars.”
Promoting close racing with prescribed parts
Spec series deliver thrilling racing by levelling the playing field. Every competitor uses the same car and can only adjust the set up on race weekend. All teams must run prescribed parts on the car, such as a common exhaust. Klarius has experience providing these regulatory mandated systems for the BMW Compact Cup, the 116 Trophy and Mazda MX5 racing series.
“With our exhaust design and manufacturing capabilities, we take the desired specification from the series organisers and produce large batches to outfit the entire grid,” Gordon says. “We’ll then supply more throughout the year as the teams need them, keeping all the designs and jigs. Our large manufacturing facility means we can accommodate this along with our daily activities.”
Custom designs for multiple motorsport disciplines
From rally cars to GT racers, there is a plethora of exciting and quirky machinery racing across the UK. Sourcing a replacement exhaust for a particular race car can be very challenging, but again, Klarius has the expertise to help.
“We often get calls from people racing classic or rare cars who require very low volumes of a particular design. Other times, we are approached to design a completely custom solution. We’re totally flexible and have the testing facilities available to prove performance and regulatory compliance wherever our customers want to race,” explains Gordon.
Recently, Klarius supported the Oxford Universities Motorsport Foundation (OUMF) by manufacturing a custom high flow exhaust for its Mercedes 380 SL rally car project. As the car would need to drive on public roads between stages, Klarius assessed the exhaust at its in-house test track to ensure noise was at acceptable levels.
As part of another project in 2014, Klarius manufactured a replacement exhaust for an accident damaged LS1 V8 powered Mosler MT900R run by a privateer and the Staffordshire Uni Racing Team. Klarius produced an entire new system in 24 hours, ready for the car to make it to the grid for the Britcar Championship.
Giving the next generation a start
As well as supporting the professional teams that bring new talent into the spotlight, Klarius collaborates with Staffordshire Uni Racing Team on its entries into Formula Student, helping young engineers prepare for the high intensity world of motorsport. Teams must develop, build and run a single-seater race car while managing all aspects of the entry. A highly regarded stepping stone into the world of Formula 1, the event gathers 130 university teams from over 30 countries to compete.
By providing a custom designed race exhaust for the car’s high-revving 675cc bike engine, Klarius helped the team to a second-place overall finish for the 2023 event at Silverstone. The new exhaust supported the team in switching to a side-mounted radiator design, lowering the centre of gravity and improving handling. The manufacturing capacity of Klarius meant that the exhaust was ready well ahead of car testing, giving the team a competitive edge on race day.
Quality counts on race day
“The performance orientated design philosophy of race car exhausts differentiates them from their road going counterparts,” adds Gordon. “One similarity though is the requirement for quality. Our experience designing long-lasting products for road cars helps us produce exhausts for the rigours of motorsport, and vice versa. We want the teams using our systems to get a good result out on track.
“As a business, we also have the flexible manufacturing and expertise needed to support either individual cars or entire racing series. More than that, we’re all big motorsport fans and petrolheads, and I think that passion comes out whether we’re working with a race team or designing a new system for the latest popular road going model.”
Image 1: Klarius manufactured a bespoke exhaust system for the Staffordshire University Formula Student race team
Image 2: Klarius provided regulatory mandated systems for the BMW Compact Cup
Image 3: Klarius provided regulatory mandated systems for the BMW Compact Cup
Image 4: Klarius manufactured a replacement exhaust for an accident damaged LS1 V8 powered Mosler MT900R
Image 5: Klarius sponsored Sara Williams in the Wyedean rally
About Klarius Products
Klarius Products is a dedicated Emission Control Products manufacture and supply company servicing primarily the UK and EU markets. The business supplies type approved exhausts, CATs and DPFs designed, developed and manufactured in the UK and delivered via its own logistics operation. Klarius Products operations are centred on the manufacturing, R&D, test track, logistics and stock facility hub based in Cheadle in the UK.