Action at Autosport day three but the girls take the headlines

Allan Mcnish and Anthony Davidson open the show (photo by Marc Waller)Day three of Autosport international saw the first of the public days with the show opened by Allan Mcnish and Anthony Davidson.

Anthony is the current World endurance champion and Allan Mcnish won it the year before. Today’s other big name guest was David Coulthard who signed autographs and appeared in the live action arena.

The live action arena has been a major attraction of the show for much of it’s history and usually has packed crowds for every show. This year’s is presented by Sky F1 commentator David Croft and is close to an hour of stunts , car demonstrations and races.

Alistair Moffat claimed the world record for the tightest parallel park during the show, a record that he had only set the previous day! Terry Grant did his usual wild doughnuts and other stunts and Team Japspeed put on a spectacular display of Drifting.

There were also stunts from a freestlye Motocross display team. Perhaps the most spectatular stunt came when a Monster truck smashed through the set! (Deliberately!)

Racing came from cars from the world of short ovals as well as grass track racing. There was also a race for London taxi’s with a couple of mini cab interlopers! There were also interviews with David Coulthard, the Mclaren Autosport BRDC Young driver of the year contenders, David Coulthard and Petter Solberg who also put on another spectacular display in his rallycross car. Petter is the only driver ever to be world champion in both rallying and rally cross.

Back in the main show visitors flocked around the displays of which there are more than ever this year. A regular attraction, the f1 racing grid is back this year and although it’s slightly down on numbers due to the unfortunate end to the season that both Marussia and Caterham had. Signing from f1 drivers such as David Coulthard meant the crowds kept coming.

The F1 racing display (photo by Marc Waller)World record parking attemp (photo by Marc Waller)Roz Shaw and Anna Walewska BWRDC Goldstars winners (photo by Marc Waller)Swamp thing smashes things up (photo by Marc Waller)Grasstrack racer (photo by Marc Waller)If you prefer your action off road, there’s a rally display of cars from the rally GB over the years with classic cars all the to up to date machinery that competed in 2014. There is even the Hyundai that Top Gear magazine built from a road car to compete in the Uk’s world championship event.

There are also several displays of historic cars but more on those in a future report.

The big news for women in motorsport today was the announcement of the winner of the British women racing driver’s club Gold stars. As in previous year’s there are two categories, Club and Elite. Club is aimed at drivers racing for fun whereas Elite is aimed at the drivers who hope to or are making motorsport as career. The Elite Nominees were Anna Walewska, Fiona James and Sarah Reader and in the club category, the nominees were Amy Barker, Roz Shaw and Ilsa Cox. Anna Walewska was named the Elite winner after winning her class in the Britcar championship last year. It tops a great weekend for Anna after she announced her drive for 2014 earlier in the show. (See previous report.) Succesful historic Alfa Romeo and Porsche race Roz Shaw won the club category. Both drivers get mentored for a year by other top females; Susie Wolff for Anna and Liz Haliday for Roz. They also win a number of other prizes from other suppliers including oil from Lucas oils and a days testing at Donington Park.

There was a further driver announcement today, this time from the world of Gt racing when British GT4 champion Ross Wylie was announced as a driver in the Mclaren GT young driver programme. Wylie along with Andrew Johnson, who was announced at the same time will work the existing trio of factory drivers: Rob Bell, Kevin Estre and Alvaro Parente, as well as the Mclaren GT team to further enhance their skills and knowledge for a competitive career in GT racing. The championship they will be competing in will be announced at a later date.

Today was the busiest day of the 25th anniversary show so far, with the whole show busy throughout the day.

Sunday is the final day of the show and so the final chance to see all the displays, stands and shows. Tickets are available at the NEC as always. By Marc Waller

thumb gw100114autosport7 Petter Solberg (photo by Marc Waller) Japspeed drifter (photo by Marc Waller) Japspeed drifter (photo by Marc Waller) David Coulthard (photo by Marc Waller)

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