Updated: Jun 9, 2018
For many years now, the name Andy Blackmore has become synonymous with the creation of spotters' guides and racecar liveries. This writer took the opportunity to ask Andy some questions on the lead up to this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans about how he started in this field and some of his achievements to date.
Andy started designing liveries while at University in the UK on a Car Design degree. He won a competition to design a livery for Toyota's British Touring Car Championship team and, off the back of that, did a little work for Schnitzer's BMW UK team. Once graduated, Andy worked for a supplier of McLaren designing the West and Gulf liveries for the F1 GTR.
The following year Andy produced the car art for the BTCC, and television channel ITV Sport used this work of his for their grid graphics. This expanded into Andy’s real love of sports cars. For the last six years now, he has produced the official spotters' guides for the American Le Mans Series (now WeatherTech SportsCar Championship) and CTSC.
Andy then spent five years working for McLaren with a 50:50 split on liveries and product design, working mostly on pit equipment, race transporters, and pit crew helmets. He was then approached by Electronic Arts to head up their F1 car build team for their video games, which at the time seemed a good opportunity to move into as it was something slightly different. This "slightly different" change ended up lasting 12 years for him!
In terms of spotters' guides, Andy has always enjoyed creating side view illustrations. When he was a teen, just for fun, Andy would produce marker illustrations of all the McLarens, Lotus, Williams and Ferraris. Andy's first "real" spotters' guides were for the UK's SEAT Leon Championship in the 90's.
It takes Andy many hours to create these guides, especially for Daytona and Le Mans, but thanks to the likes of IMSA and Nissan, these continue to be produced for fans as free downloads.
Andy is always proud of new livery designs which see neat additions to the cars, such as the use of green chrome by the Saudi Falcons Porsche 911 Cup and BMW Z4 GT3 cars and the reflective “poly mesh” taken from the Need For Speed Shift video game seen on the Team Need for Speed BMW Z4 in the Dubai 24hr.
Although just a "modern interpretation" of the 1990 Le Mans Nissan livery No. 21 Nissan GT-R NISMO LMP1 car is a cool livery design to have in ones' portfolio - especially as Nissan are one of Andy's main clients.
The spotters' guides can be found at www.spotterguides.com the first version for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans is expected for June 8th.