Autosport International and Performance car show preview 2016

F1 Racing will have their usual display of recent F1 machinery (photo by Marc Waller)

F1 Racing will have their usual display of recent F1 machinery (photo by Marc Waller)The 2016 Motorsport season in the UK kicks off again from Thursday with the annual Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham.

As usual it starts with two trade days on Thursday and Friday before the public days on Saturday and Sunday.

Some of the regular favourite attractions will return such as the F1 Racing Formula 1 display, the Rally Display, The Dunlop BTCC display and the Live action arena.The Autosport stage will have a distinct F1 appearance this year as it’s devoted to the Williams F1 team. For the first time ever, the Williams Martini Racing motorhome will be constructed away from a race circuit, forming a major part of the revamped stage and providing a focal point for a celebration of all things Williams.

The display will play host to a selection of Williams’ most iconic Formula One cars at the show, running from the very first Williams-Ford FW06 of 1978 to the latest Williams-Mercedes FW37 of 2015. The revamped stage will feature a host of famous faces from the world of motorsport, including exciting interviews with Williams drivers and team members from throughout Williams’ history.

As well as interactive features focusing on Williams’ F1 exploits, visitors will also get an insight into the world of Williams Advanced Engineering, the division that transfers technology from Formula One to market sectors as diverse as defence and renewable energy.

Williams Advanced Engineering has completed many high profile projects recently, including supplying all batteries to the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship. In addition, visitors will be able to learn about Williams Heritage, the team’s historic racing division, which restores and fully supports Williams racing cars for private owners.

Claire Williams, Williams Martini Racing Deputy Team Principal, said: “We’re really excited to be such a major part of Autosport International and constructing our motorhome next to the new Autosport Stage will make for an incredible sight. The show will be a great opportunity for people to learn all about Williams and be a great chance for people to soak up some Formula One atmosphere away from the circuit.”
Williams will also star in the live action arena with an appearance from the Williams-Cosworth FW08C.

The car, which raced in the 1983 F1 season, will be starring in the Live Action Arena at the Birmingham NEC from 14-17 January 2016, giving fans a unique chance to see the historic racer in up close and on the move
Also appearing in the Live Action Arena will be a stunt Jaguar C-X75, one of cars which starred in the latest James Bond film, SPECTRE from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Specially-prepared for SPECTRE, the C-X75 was provided by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in collaboration with development partner Williams Advanced Engineering, the division of Williams that transfers technology from Formula 1 to other market sectors.

The C-X75 was driven on screen by Hinx and featured in SPECTRE’s iconic car chase through the streets of Rome.

On top of this, the live action show will feature the usual mix of racing and stunts.

Find the BTCC on the Dunlop stand once again (photo by Marc Waller)Lots of BTCC drivers will be on hand for interviews and Autographs (photo by Marc Waller)Williams will have a big display (photo by Marc Waller)Petter Solberg is just one of many stars at the show (photo by Marc Waller)Lots of excitement in the live action arena (photo by Marc Waller)The Autosport show will be full of the stars of racing with five world champions with Damon Hill, Allan Mcnish and Petter Solberg from the four wheeled racing world to Motorbike racing world champions Phil Read and Wayne Gardner, who will be meeting fans and signing autographs. Mcnish and Solberg will also drive in the live action show. There will also be a huge amount of BTCC drivers on both the Dunlop stand and the Autosport stage and we’ll see several announcements about the 2016 BTCC season.

Susie Wolff has been confirmed to appear at Autosport International and will launch the details of a new initiative in conjunction with the Motor Sports Association (MSA).

Details of the initiative will be announced at stand 2840 at 11:30am on Thursday 14th January. Susie is also set to appear on the Autosport Stage on Saturday 16th.

Susie said: “When I decided to hang up my helmet I knew I wanted to give something back. I called Rob Jones, CEO of the MSA, who immediately shared my enthusiasm and passion. We very quickly put a great team together and are proud to launch our initiative at Autosport International.

“Our sport is performance based so gender is irrelevant. The opportunities are out there, we aim to inspire and drive female talent to make sure in the long term our sport is diverse.”

COYS will hold it’s usual auction at the show, over 60 classic and historic road and race cars are going under the hammer at the Auction, including a Rothmans liveried MG Metro 6R4, a 996 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and a concours competition winning 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT.

The Performance car show will also be taking place simultaneously with tickets to either show being valid to visit both you really do get two shows for the price of one! One of the major attractions of the Performance car show will be a brand new display, Evolution of the Hot Hatch, comprised of 10 hot hatches that have defined the genre for over forty years. The display will take visitors on a journey that covers all of the key hot hatches that have moved the game on time-after-time.

Both shows will have lots of retail opportunities with items from all aspects of motorsport and performance motoring.

Memorabilia Giant (stand 6930 in Hall 6) will have a selection of motoring memorabilia. The stand features a variety of signed photographs, including a limited edition signed Sir Stirling Moss picture from his victory at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1960. Neil Edwards, of Memorabilia Giant, says he is also bringing a new John Surtees signed print, which will be available for the first time at Autosport International – the picture will be from the Isle of Man TT, and features Surtees going over Ballaugh Bridge.

Steve Tappin Books (stand 6801 in Hall 6) is attending for the first time, and is bringing a selection of secondhand motoring books, ranging from around £10 all the way up to £1000. One such rarity is an old Bugatti book, signed by five-time F1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, and fellow drivers Toulo de Graffenried and Philippe Étancelin. Steve is also showing off a selection of limited edition prints of photos taken at the 1961 French Grand Prix

Horton Books (stand 6800 in Hall 6) is also taking a selection of limited edition and collectable out-of-print books to the show. In addition to this, it will also cater for modern motoring and motor racing fans with a comprehensive set of the latest motoring titles from all over the world. Horton Book is family owned and operated since 1997 and it stocks in the region of 12,000 books and sales brochure at its shop in Malborough, Wiltshire.

Several new clothing ranges will be available at 195mph’s stand (6954 in Hall 6), including a selection of 1970s style and Gulf and Heuer branded accessories, clothing and luggage. Other exhibitors at the show include the talented Piers Dowell from P.D.P Master of the Airbrush, who will display a stunning line-up of bespoke crash helmet designs (located on stand 2940 in Hall 20). In Hall 20 of Autosport International, Race to The Finish gives real F1 fans the opportunity to buy authentic and rare items of F1 memorabilia.

This article has just touched on a few of the many attractions that make up the Autosport news. We will be reporting from the show bringing you the news and showing you the attractions that make up the best Motorsport show of the year.

Tickets to the public days are available to buy online still with ticket collection at the show or you can buy on the day.   By Marc Waller 

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