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.

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.