The owner of a Teesside business has been crowned third best in the world at the art of wrapping cars in plastic vinyl.
Mike Szwacki travelled to Hamburg in Germany to take part in the world final of the Hexis wrapping battle, which challenged finalists to show off their skills in the art of wrapping a plastic panel in vinyl.
As owner of Middlesbrough-based company MEK Wrap Squad, transforming motors for proud owners by wrapping them in an eye-catching but removable plastic vinyl is something Mike does every working day.
But such is his passion for the art form that he also does it when he’s not working too.
He has travelled the world taking part in competitions – known as battles – to test his skills against the world’s best.
Wroclaw-born Mike, who moved to Middlesbrough from Poland with wife Elwira 12 years ago, took part in the Hexis Battle World Final as part of FESPA 2018, Europe’s largest global print expo.
Taking top spot when representing his adopted UK in the European Hexis Battle, he qualified for the following day’s World Final where he took on fellow wrappers from Mexico, South Africa, Japan, Brazil, USA, Sweden, Russia and Bulgaria.
After three rounds of challenges, a panel of expert judges gave Mike third place behind only his fellow competitors from Bulgaria and Brazil.
Mike, who is officially the most qualified wrapper in the UK, admitted to mixed feelings about being crowned third best in the world.
“I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, so I’d like to have been first,” he said. “Wrapping is a passion, not just a job for me.
“Of course, it’s mind-blowing to be recognized within your industry as one of the world’s best. It was a privilege to compete against other wrappers from around the world – and I was honoured to represent the UK as my adopted country that I now call home.”