Report and photos by Tim Surman
The Autosport International Show 2013 was held 10th to 13th January at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Each year the motorsport world heads to Birmingham for the Autosport International Show. After the winter break it’s a chance for all connected with motorsport to meet under one roof, meet new people and old friends, see the latest gear, announce a new deal and maybe get a new deal signed. One of these announcements was the launch of the new F4 formula, which has the backing of the BRDC, on the MSV stand Jonathan Palmer and BRDC president Derek Warwick unveiled the car and talked about the figures and costs of the new formula.
The weekend saw the doors open to the public and the celebrity talkers on the Autosport and F1 stages. These included the three times F1 champion, Sir Jackie Stewart, his F1 championship cars had their own display and included the Stewart Ford F1 car. Included were some of the cars from the other formulas that drivers of that time raced in. Unlike modern F1 drivers, Sir Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill, Jim Clarke and others raced in multiple cars from many formulas.
Autosport International Show 2013 is a utopia for any petrol head after the winter. Where as for the trades and teams it’s a way to meet, for the fans it’s a chance to get excited about the year ahead and to get closer than ever to the cars and stars. Two stands that seem to share colours but are world apart, Caterham and Classic Team Lotus. Caterham showed everything from a Super 7 to their F1. And Classic Team Lotus? Well how about a JPS-liveried Renault Turbo power F1 car, with the upper body work removed and suspended above, originally driven by Nigel Mansell. Another F1 team was McLaren, a stand and shop, from the latest Jenson hats and T-shirts to signing up for McLaren club membership and your photo taken with the 2012 F1 car.
The ever popular BTCC had a stand of its own. With some cars from the 2012 season, fans can get up close to the cars and really have a good look around them – no tape to keep you out and away. BTCC fan favourites like Jason Plato, Matt Neil, 2012 champion Gordon Shedden and WTCC champion Rob Huff were on the Autosport stage too. For touring car fans of yesteryear, when the racing involved less pushing a shoving and more sideways action, the HSCC had cars on display from this year calendar.
For those that really wanted to splash some cash, the Coys Autosport auction. Being the a motorsport show the cars tended to be race focused, they included the 1956 MG Magnette ZA called Bumble. The car raced at last years Goodwood Revival in the St. Mary`s Trophy. Not all cars up for auction had a racing history, some had a different kind of star driver. Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a star of its own on the day, an estimate price of £9,000-£11,000 but the hammer fell at £74,000.
The Live Action Arena was the normal mad high-octane mix of lights, noise and burning rubber. Drift cars did a sideways dance around the arena, with masses of tyre smoke, engine noise and flaming exhausts, Shane Lynch of pop band Boyzone fame was one of the drivers and stopped and waved to the crowds. Terry Grant and two female drivers did a James Bond inspired stunt show. The only quieter moments was the Autocar best of British, although most of the cars may have been built in Britain, the owners of the companies are not! The winner of this year’s McLaren Autosport Award so also announced as Jake Dennis.
As always the 2013 Autosport International Show did the job for all motorsport fans and automotive nuts, they must be well and truly warmed up, ready for the years action on track and road.
Autosport International Show 2013 – Photo Gallery
[Source: Tim Surman]