Autosport International 2018 opened today, Thursday, January 11th. In2motorsports will be reporting from the show with interviews and exclusive images during the weekend. Meanwhile, here are a few things to look forward to this year.
10 Iconic Race Cars from BTCC’s 60 year history
With 2018 marking 60 years of the British Touring Car Championship, a look back through the extensive back catalogue of memorable vehicles throughout the series sees ten cars stand out. From thunderous American muscle cars to diminutive British heroes, here are ten iconic race cars from 60 years of BTCC.
Despite its less than petite proportions, the thunderous V8 of this British brute resulted in a dramatic sight and sound at any race meeting, particularly when dicing with similarly muscular American rivals. Whether in Bastos, Patrick Motorsport or Triplex livery, the SD1 made its presence known.
One of the several fast Fords that punctuated BTCC’s 60-year history, the Lotus tweaked Cortina was small but mighty. At the hands of greats such as Jim Clark (who won the 1964 Championship at the wheel of a Cortina) and Sir John Whitmore, the little Cortina brought home big results, regularly seen on three wheels at apexes throughout the UK.
A fire spitting chunk of American muscle, the Camaro may have lost the smaller European rivals in the corners but would eat them alive on the straights. A real heavyweight contender, Frank Gardner claimed the 1973 Championship in a Z28 Camaro.
Though the Accords may have been a common competitor throughout BTCC history, the Civic has become a staple of the series. Between 2011 and 2016, all but one Championship was won by a Civic. In either hatchback or tourer form, the Civic is a true BTCC hero.
Responsible for making the estate the object of every family man’s desire, the unlikely Volvo 850 Estate became a legend on the track. Developed with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), there were minor aerodynamic benefits to the boxy estate over the saloon but the model was primarily chosen for publicity.
Mini 1275 GT
A racing legend in other disciplines, the plucky little Mini was a hit in the BTCC too. Able to carve through a grid like nothing else, the Mini became known for coming out on top over far bigger, more powerful rivals. As with the Volvo, the BTCC presence of the Mini did wonders for public opinion of the model.
BMW E30 M3
A hallmark of the 1990s era of BTCC, arguably one of the more revered periods of the series, the E30 M3 cemented itself as the car to have on the road thanks to the racing prowess of the race cars. A key player in the thrills-and-spills of the 1990s, the M3 is BTCC royalty and was driven to Championship wins in 1988 and 1991.
Audi A4 quattro
Another German goliath, the A4 quattro brought four wheel drive to the attention of the world and the front of the grid, much to the dismay of other teams. After winning countless races, accusastions were made of the quattro and it was ultimately banned, but not after a championship win in 1996.
Alfa Romeo 155 TS
In typical Alfa Romeo fashion, the 155 TS was as stylish as it was powerful. The 155 TS was a source of controversy due to its adjustable aerodynamics, with Alfa Romeo leaving the Oulton Park race in protest in 1994 – nonetheless, Gabrielle Tarquini won the championship in the beautiful Alfa.
Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
The RS500 quickly gained a reputation as the car to have in the BTCC, so much so that the 1990 Group A class field was made up entirely of these turbocharged terrors. Few cars have such close association to the BTCC as the RS500, and were the poster car for a generation of racing fans.
Billy Monger to lead a cast of stars and cars in the live action arena
Billy Monger will partner Terry Grant and the Mission Motorsport team performing a series of nail-biting stunts in the Live Action Arena across all four days at Autosport International.
Thanks to a progressive recovery and rehabilitation process, aided by Mission Motorsport, Monger will play a feature role in a variety of high-octane manoeuvres alongside a team of drivers from Mission Motorsport. Four Jaguar F-Type cars will take to the arena performing a set of dynamic stunts in front of a packed audience.
Mission Motorsport is a charity run by veterans, serving officers and motorsport professionals. It exists to aid the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations, by providing opportunities through Motorsport, that offers training, direct vocational support and assistance using the mantra – ‘Race, Retrain, Recover’.
The Live Action Arena is once again set to thrill, with a varied line-up of leading motorsport categories and competition drivers from across the world.
With the walls and ceiling keeping all those wonderful sounds and smells close-by, it is set to be an intense 60 minutes that can really only be described accurately as “petrolhead heaven”, offering an unrivalled variety of racing action, driving demonstrations, record-breaking stunts and celebrity interviews and appearances.
NASCAR is set to be another highlight, as fans will be able to see the extraordinary power of an American cup car showcased with 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte at the wheel.
Thrills and spills will come courtesy of a unique and thrilling drifting sequence, while present day Rallycross will be represented in a sequence that will see a Ford Fiesta World Rallycross car from XITE Racing, driven by racer Oliver Bennett, taking on a unique challenge which fans will not want to miss.
Crowds of all ages will witness further thrilling action as a variety of Ginetta racing cars will be put through their paces. The Ginetta Racing Drivers Club racers will have the opportunity to go head-to-head in what is sure to be a highly competitive race and showcase a variety of cars from the Ginetta stable.
Further high-octane action will come courtesy of Aston Martin, as the British firm will proudly parade its gorgeous Vantage in front of adoring fans. Always a crowd-favourite in the arena, more high-speed action will come from Autograss and the BriSCA F1 stock cars, who will be completing a series of showcase races and interview segments. Hosted by Sky F1 Lead Commentator, David Croft, alongside popular social media vlogger Shmee150.
Autosport International offers families the best live racing entertainment yet with shows in a 5,000-seater arena, all included with every ticket.
Autosport International Show Director Kate Woodley, said: “Mission Motorsport is a charity created to help the recovery of those affected by military operations through motorsport and we are delighted to have them, Terry and Billy conducting our stunt at this year’s show.
“With so many different aspects of motorsport represented, from the grassroots to the highly prestigious NASCAR series, we have some truly great and inspiring motorsport content to share with fans this week. There will be something for everyone.”
2017 Ferrari SF70H F1 car confirmed for the show
The 2017 Ferrari Formula 1 car is the final car confirmed for the main Ferrari feature at Europe’s biggest pre-season motorsport show, Autosport International, this week.
The SF70H joins the 2004 championship-winning F2004, 2017 LMGTE Pro World Endurance Championship-winning AF Corse 488 GTE, FXX-K Evo and the 488 Challenge cars on the stage which will showcase the range of cars available through Corse Clienti, Ferrari’s exclusive client racing programme.
The 2017 Ferrari F1 car is named SF70H to mark Scuderia Ferrari’s 70th anniversary. The car collected five race wins, 20 podiums, five pole positions on its way to scoring a total of 522 points between World Champion drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in the 2017 season.
Its 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 Ferrari engine generates close to 1000bhp when combined with the hybrid systems seen in modern day F1. The car hit the ground running in the new era of aerodynmic regulations, winning on its debut outing at the Australian Grand Prix in March.
The car joins a host of Ferrari drivers who are confirmed to attend the show. The 2017 World Endurance Championship GTE Pro champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi will be at the show on Thursday. The pair, who race for AF Corse, sealed the 2017 GT manufacturers’ crown, claiming Ferrari’s fifth WEC constructors’ title (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). Miguel Molina and former-F1 racing driver Marc Gené will be at the show on Friday and Saturday. All of the drivers will be on hand to discuss the exclusive racing programmes Ferrari offers, which is represented at the show.
The Ferrari main feature showcases cars represented within the Corse Clienti programme from Corsa Pilota, the Ferrari Challenge Series, XX Programme and F1 Clienti.
Autosport Media UK Editor-in-Chief, Andrew van de Burgt, said: “The 2017 Ferrari F1 car completes this outstanding array of Ferrari racing cars representing the exclusive Corse Clienti programme. It has been a long winter without any Formula 1 action and having the 2017 F1 car is the perfect reward for fans coming to the show this week to get up close its latest race winner. Do not miss out on this amazing celebration of arguably the most iconic marque in motorsport history.”
Performance Car Show set to host stars of the internet and their wheels for the first time
The Performance Car Show is bringing yet another brand new feature to the 2018 event in the form of the Social Influencer Hangout.
For the very first time, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) will host a dedicated area for stars of social media and the internet, allowing fans to ask questions and gain a valuable insight into their lives, as well as watching them film their latest segments for the internet.
Shmee150, QueenB, Archie Hamilton, Gaskings and Baron Von Grumble will be on location at the NEC over the weekend at the Performance Car Show, armed with the very tools that made them stars: their wheels.
Baron Von Grumble’s BMW S 1000 RR Sport is sure to enjoy plenty of attention, while Shmee150’s ferocious Mercedes AMG GT R with its Topaz Detailing PPF will be a treat for visitors.
The black Mercedes boasts 585hp and 700Nm of torque, propelling it from 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds, with a scintillating top speed of 198mph.
QueenB’s comprehensively customised 1983 BMW e21 316 will bring something for classic car fans in attendance, plus Archie Hamilton’s Audi R8 V10 Plus and Gaskings’ Nissan GTR will also be on display.
The stunning 316 has been the subject of a full respray in its original Hennarot red colour scheme, while the interior benefits from a number of interesting touches, including the latest 3P management kit wired into the dash.
Kate Woodley, Show Director, said: “Having the new Social Influencer Hangout at the Performance Car Show adds yet another string to the event’s bow – allowing visitors to get up close and personal with their heroes and find out all about what goes into making engaging online content. In some cases, the wheels are as famous as the stars, and having these models on show at the NEC will be fantastic.”
Hear from the experts at Talk Shop
Industry experts from journalists and drivers to engineers and company bosses will be taking to the Talk Shop stage to share their knowledge and experience across the four days of Autosport International.
Talk Shop (formerly Tech Talk), supported by the MIA, is aimed at providing members of the industry with the opportunity to discuss topical and important subjects in the motorsport, automotive and performance engineering sectors.
Talk Shop is designed to be a useful platform to hear from specialist industry insiders with engaged, knowledgeable and enthusiastic professionals in the audience.
Situated in the Careers and Education area of the show, it’s fitting that one of the exhibitors set to speak over the event is the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME), an all-new state-of-the-art £13 million facility. Lecturers will be offering advice on how to forge an engineering career in the highly competitive motorsport industry.
Also taking to the stage will be Swiss-based Bcomp, a leader in developing lightweight natural fibre composites for high-performance applications. CEO Christian Fischer will be discussing over-taking carbon with natural fibres in racing.
Ambassadors from Dare to be Different will be covering the topic of women in motorsport from a range of disciplines including drivers, engineers and journalists. Founded by Susie Wolff and Chief Executive of the MSA, Rob Jones, the initiative helps to inspire, connect, showcase and develop women who either currently work in or want to work in the motorsport arena.
Technical Director for Ginetta, Ewan Baldry, will be on stage to talk about how the company developed the LMP1 car it will be launching at the show. The British-based racing car manufacturer and championship organiser has already secured its first orders, announcing Manor and TRS, as well as an as-yet-unnamed second team as customers for the 2018/19 WEC season, including Le Mans 24 hours.
And last but certainly not least…
Excitement is mounting for Coys’ return to the world’s greatest motorsport and related industry event.
Join us at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday 13th January for this important sale.
More about the show on these links,
2018 WRC is to launch at Autosport International Show. Read the full story here.
Ginetta to launch LMP1 car at Autosport International. Read the full story here.
Nigel Mansell to headline at the 2018 Autosport International. Read the full story here.
Ferrari FXX-K Evo to debut at Autosport International. Read the full story here.
Henry Hope-Frost is back for Autosport International 2018. Read the full story here.
More news here.
Official website here.
Please note; 11-12 January 2018 are dedicated trade-only days.