United Autosports – The One That Got Away

Before the festive period late last year, United Autosports announced they’d be running a competition for a fan to have their livery adorning the pair of Toyota Avensis…es? they were entering into the BTCC for the first time in 2014. All you had to do was design a livery, and the best one would win the ultimate prize of being in front of tens of thousands of pairs of eyes every race weekend.

Naturally I entered.

Ajokay's United Autosports Livery Competition Entry

After what seemed like forever, almost until the end of February, the team finally made an announcement on their social media feeds, accompanied by photos of the car in the garage of a test session that morning. It was wearing a familiar dark blue livery I’d seen before. Odd, I thought. Surely if they were testing, they’d be testing in the new livery? The announcement stated that despite receiving some excellent entries, the highers-up and the sponsors had decided that none of the entries were 100% suitable, and were going to stick with the the livery they’d shown during testing at the end of 2013. A ‘Runner up‘ would be receiving an email in the imminent future’.

Great… I though. I bet I find an email in my inbox telling me that I was that runner up. The one time that I have the best livery, and the chance to have my work displayed on a national stage in front of a global audience… and this happens. Sure enough, I had an email from the United Autosports HR girl telling me that ‘the sponsors’ were the winners, and that I was the runner up. I’d soon be the proud owner of a gift bag. No sorry, no offer of following through with the rest of the winners prize, which included VIP tickets to the first race of the season at Brands Hatch. Nothing. They at least displayed my entry on their Facebook page. It seems the fans preferred it to the livery they’d gone for, so that was some small consolation.

A few days later I got a bag of tat that’d clearly been cluttering up their offices. The cars that almost displayed my livery have, at the time of writing (after 9 races), achieved a best result of 13th. I’ll certainly have to think twice before entering any future competitions.

Super Formula League – Relegation Zone

Late last summer I imagined what the kits would look like if each Formula One team were actually a football (aka soccer) team. I designed home and away strips for the 5 top teams of the 2013 season. Now I’ve finally decided to mock up the bottom half of the table, the teams who would be fighting against relegation to the GP2 league if such a process happened. And just as well really, as in the next few weeks the teams will release new cars with (hopefully) new liveries and these would all be out of date. So, without further ado, here are the kits for the remaining 6 teams.

Sauber’s kits pay homage to their current and original black & silver liveries, with the away kit giving a nod to their BMW days. Force India’s home shirt and shorts display the colours of their current owners, whilst the away strip is more reminiscent of their founder’s bright colours from the late 1990′s. Toro Rosso sport a deep blue with their excellent red and gold trim. Their away kit will no doubt be recognisable to older F1 fans. Williams are decked out in mostly navy blue, just like their testing liveries of recent years, which they replace with a worse design come the races. Their away colours sport the shades of an (incredibly underrated) paint job that often divides opinion amongst fans. The Marussia kits mirror the sharp lines of their car, and the Caterham shirts invoke the company’s partnership with Alpine.

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British Touring Car Autograph Book

A little blast from the past here. Late April 1998, a school friend of mine and his family invited me along with them to the second round of the 1998 British Touring Car Championship. This was my first experience of in-the-flesh live motor racing action. Of course being Britain and being April, that flesh was well covered with woolies and waterproofs because it was peeing down with rain. But that never stopped the British Touring Car Championship (unless they’re at Croft).

I’d heard that there would be an autograph session during an open pitlane walkabout, so the week before I bought myself a notepad full of plain paper. Trouble was, it was too plain, so 13 year old me did what he did best and filled it with drawings of cars, with grid hatchings as the ‘dotted lines’on which the drivers would sign. Using Codemasters’ ToCA 2 Touring Cars PlayStation game for reference (hence why the Silverstone International circuit layout is incorrect… they got it wrong in the game), I drew each of 8 manufacturer-backed cars with the aid of a template (I wanted them all perfect), and coloured in the bright liveries with my awesome set of WH Smith pencils.

I only got half the drivers autographs that day, but the ones who saw my book were suitable impressed.

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Super Formula League

We’ve had Superleague Formula, the single-make race series where open wheeled formula cars adorned in the colours of famous football teams would race each other in a 2-race knock-out format. It was alright. The cars were powerful, it attracted some pretty well-known drivers. and the racing was good. But the interest wasn’t there and it only lasted 4 seasons, from 2008 until a somewhat truncated season in 2011.

Now how about SuperFormula League? Each of the F1 teams field their best 11 staff members against each other in the Premier League of Motorsport! Obviously it wouldn’t happen. They’re far too busy engineering and racing cars (yeah, right!), but on the eve of the British Grand Prix, what better than to tie together two of Britain’s favourite sporting pastimes? Here are the kits of the 5 teams that would arguably be at the sharp end of the league table. The home kits are current team colours. The away kits allowed for some more classic designs to creep in…

super-formula-league

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Aston Martin 100th Anniversary Le Mans Livery

Aston Martin recently ran a competition in conjunction with their works racing team and main sponsor. The task was to design a special livery for their 5th entry in the GT class to wear in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the prize is to travel to the race as a VIP and see the livery in action! Of course I entered, as I did with a similar competition for Dunlop last year, and my submission is below.

The brief said to try and include the Gulf Oil colours of blue and orange, but this was not essential. I decided to mix the classic Aston Martin colours of silver and their particular shade of British Racing Green on the sides of the car with the blue and orange running down the centre. The design on the side is the famous Aston Martin wings embossed with a ’100 Years’ message in the Aston Martin typeface.

The winner is due to be announced in the coming days, so fingers crossed!

ajokay aston martin gulf livery competition entry

 

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Nihon Tour Event Posters

The online motor racing club that I frequent(ly attempt to organise and race in) with a group of friends often needs event posters for the races. It’s all a bit of fun, but if you’ve organised a race and are also a graphic artist with a healthy interest in motor sport, why wouldn’t you make an event poster for the race, fictional or otherwise? Well, I did, and so here is a series of 7 posters, one for each event in the Really Rubbish Racing Nihon Tour. Apologies for the Japanese, it may be completely wrong, but that’s more the fault of Adam or Google Translate than anything.

Nihon Tour Event Posters

The design that encapsulates all 7 events is available as a T-Shirt here.

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Circuit Britain

My mum’s career was in cartography. She’s drawn maps for the London Borough of Barnet and had many others printed in Geographical Magazine over the course of several years. She also drew them for fun, her illustrated scrapbook of travels around Peru and Bolivia are filled with hand-painted map masterpieces. She is a huge influence on my love of maps and drawing maps. Once interested in motor sport, I would begin doodling track layouts and maps anywhere I could. All my old school books are littered with squiggly shapes that, to the untrained eye, just look like squiggly shapes. But those of us in the know can quickly see what they are!

Starting the year as I mean to go on – getting back into drawing maps – this post brings together my love of maps and motorsport. “Circuit Britain” is based on a simplified outline of the British Isles, and within its boundaries contains 3 pit complexes and a total of 6 possible layouts. As requested on Twitter showing off the initial sketch, also included in the final design is a karting circuit shaped like Northern Ireland. The original sketch was drawn over a year ago and below is a brand new ‘aerial photography’* version. There are several more sketches in the series, including circuits based on the geographic outlines of the United States and Japan. I intend to realise those over the coming months.

Circuit Britain by ajokay

* Imagery from around the outskirts of the circuit borrowed from imagery on Google Maps. Prizes for guessing where.

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Season’s Greetings, Photoshop Style!

My first update for a while, and it’s a wintery one. I’ve been so busy with my day job with my new employer that it’s been difficult to find time to work on any personal projects. But in the wind-down (yeah, right) to the festive season an offer dropped into my inbox from a fellow member of my racing club that I couldn’t refuse, asking me to ‘Christmas-ise’ a photograph for Peterbrough-based KM Packaging‘s company emailed Christmas card. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any real digital manipulation work with photographs, so this was a great opportunity to dust off the cobwebs. I think it came out pretty well!

And I think I’ll take this opportunity to say “Happy Gift Giving Month, everyone!

Have a look at the small gallery below for the before and after. Original photograph taken by Charles Ward Photography.

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Stephen Jones – Racing Superstar!

Remember Steve Jones? The Australian racing driver who I designed a car livery for based around his helmet colours? Well, unfortunately for me, but most definitely amazing news for him, is that he has since signed to race for a team. This means he has to run in their colours (a rather uninspiring plain-white), and has had to retire his old car and livery for the time being. Of course, I like to think it was the head-turning paint-job that got him noticed, but that’s proably not thw whole story.

But back to more good news… his website is up and fully functional, including plenty of photos, race previews, reviews and video highlights, edited by a certain Damon Smedley (trust me, you’ll have heard of him one day!). So go and take a look, give him your support, follow him on twitter, and ideally your sponsorship money to help further his career, meaning he can get back to using the flame coloured car that matches his hair colour so very well!

Steve Jones Racing

On Speed… Again!

Remembering the livery I’d designed for him a couple of months before, car nut and motorsport fan Gareth Jones sent an email my way asking for another design to illustrate his latest podcast with. Of course, I obliged, and set about designing a Gareth Jones on Speed Formula One livery for episode #172 wherein Gareth and pals discussed their top three motorsport liveries of all time. And here it is below, encompassing many colour schemes (generally a no-no, but had to let that slide here). The white red and green of Wales, black and orange of Sniff Petrol, and the maroon of ‘Zog‘. The driver is, of course, F1′s unluckiest driver, Taki Inoue.

So that’s now 2 beers Gareth owes me at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year…

gareth jones on speed livery