With all the big BTCC announcements that dominated the show on Thursday out the way, all the stands got on with doing business on the last of the trade days. It’s also the final day of Autosport engineering, the part of the show that concentrates of the actual components that go into building a racing car, such as parts for Gearboxes, engines and suspension as well as the machinery needed to build them.
Saturday will see that hall transformed to house the Oval Racing and Extreme Motorsport Exhibtion. This covers all aspects of autograss, rallycross, oval racing, drag racing, road and off-road racing. We’ll bring you more on that in future reports.
A big draw on the public days is the live action show. This year it’s once again presented by Sky F1’s David Croft it’s billed as the UK’s largest indoor race track. The emphasis this year is firmly on action with only two interview slots. Friday saw Legendary Rally Driver Paddy Hopkirk speak about some memorable moments in his career while later in the show. Even Petter’s interview became an excuse for a stunt as he was chauffeured in by Terry Grant in a full sized racing truck that then proceeded to do donuts before it left! Terry Grant had another appearance in the show and he certainly upped the difficulty level from previous shows. We won’t spoil the surprise in case you’re visiting the show over the weekend. Terry wasn’t the only stunt driver in the show as Alistair Moffatt attempted a world record for the tightest 360 spins. He’ll continue with his world record attempts during the rest of the weekend’s shows.
Continuing the Williams theme from the exhibition, A Williams FW08 raced by Keke Rosberg and once tested by Ayrton Senna, did some high speed laps of the arena. It was then followed by the Jaguar C-X75 which was built with the help of Williams.
The stunts were started by the Broke FMX Freestyle Motorcross display team. Even the grass roots of Motorsport is covered with a spectacular demonstration by some purpose built trials cars. Two of the cars from the British Drift championship provided a spectacular demonstration of why drifting has become so popular.
The racing this time is provided by a mix of cars from Oval racing, Grass track racing and even some motorbike racing. A team from Mclaren GT also demonstrated a racing pitstop complete with some very hot laps around the arena by the car. Watch out for the banger racers who have some very close racing but not in the way you might expect. The show is well worth watching and if you’re visiting on the public days, it’s included in the price of admission!
Elsewhere in the show, FIA president Jon Todt visited to deliver the Motorsport Safety Fund’s prestigious Watkins Lecture in front of a captivated crowd, covering many topical issues relating to motorsport safety and his experiences in the sport. With safety such a priority for the FIA, Todt discussed the measures in place to continually improve safety, including a group of top engineers who are conducting in-depth tests to continue to improve safety of racecars.
Todt also spoke about his career as a rally co-driver, his time at Ferrari – including an unprecedented five World Championships in a row – and his love for the sport. Later Todt also took to the Autosport Stage to share his experience, anecdotes and insight with visitors.
Attendees visiting the Autosport Stage are able to feast their eyes on two amazing racers. The Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 Hybrid is joined by the Ford GT WEC, which will compete in the 2016 season with drivers including former WTCC, DTM and BTCC driver Andy Priaulx and Scotland’s Marino Franchitti at the wheel.
Also drawing crowds at the show is the Classic Team Lotus stand, which unveiled its latest project. The team will be restoring the only turbine-powered F1 car in history, the Type 56B, with the aim of returning it to the racetrack.
In more news from the historic racing scene,The HSCC (Historic Sports Car Club) has revealed that it will mark the 50th anniversary of the club’s first race with a special two-day race meeting at Castle Combe on 16th and 17th April. The main celebration of the event, which marks the start of the HSCC’s 2016 racing season, will be a re-creation of its first ever grid.
Tickets are available at the show for the two public days on Saturday and Sunday with the show open from 9am to 6pm. By Marc Waller