Day three of the Autosport international show was opened on Saturday by Johnny Herbert and Paul Di Resta. The first of the two public days saw the show filled with thousands of visitors from all over the Uk. Ian France the Autosport International Show Director, was pleased with the turnout;
“It’s been great to see so many passionate motorsport fans at the NEC today,” “There was a great atmosphere in all of the halls, particularly around the Autosport Stage and F1 Racing display, where our motorsport celebrities shared plenty of inside information. We’re looking forward to another big day tomorrow.”
Other racing celebrities at the show today included World touring car champion Rob Huff, three times f1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, sports car stars, Emanuele Pirro, Alan Mcnish and Derek Bell as well as many drivers from the BTCC.
Motorsport news always has a rally themed display on their stand and this year it takes the form of a tribute to the late British world rally champion Richard Burns. Cars from all through his career are present from the Peugeot 205 and 309s of his early career in Britain through to his WRC wining Subaru Impreza.
Caterham were awarded the best stand prize today for their extremely interesting stand which features the f1 car as well as their famous club racers. It also showcases some of their other work for other teams and manufacturers in motorsport.
The Pistonheads show which has joined Autosport international for several years now has displays from all sorts of motoring exhibitors as well as some other stands from motorsport. Many of the latest supercars can be seen and acclaimed artist Ian Cook of PopBang colour is there creating his works of art using radio controlled cars as brushes.
Also creating at the show are several universities who are building race cars while the show takes place, a Formula Renault, a VW Beetle autocross car and a Nissan Micra rally car are among the cars being built. Many other universities are showing off cars that they built and raced for formula student. This is a competiton to help train the next generation of motorsport engineers and designers and many of the universities that run motorsport based courses enter cars.
The short track and oval show had its first day today, replacing Autosport engineering at one end of the exhibition. Pretty much every type of stock car and grass track racer is on display along with stands selling racing gear and racing collectibles. New this year is a track run by the BRCA (British radio car association.) They have all sorts of radio controlled cars racing and doing demonstration runs all weekend. There is even a new Ginetta racer produced by maker Mardave with assistance and approval from Ginetta themselves. Several Ginetta drivers will be driving the new car during the show, including Alice as well.
The Coys auction took place today with many competition, classic and celebrity cars going under the hammer. Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow (including an original box of tissues!) went for over £74,000 many times more than the estimate of £9-11,000. At the other end of the scale, an Original Ford Capri from the sitcom Only Fools and Horses failed to reach its reserve and so was unsold. The highest price went to a unique 1953 BMW Willis special racing car which fetched £154,000. The car raced in both Formula 2 and sports cars in period (Something which would be impossible today.) and won races, most notably at Silverstone. Chris Routledge, Managing Director of Coys was very pleased;
“We’ve had a great day of sales at Autosport International,” “Freddie Mercury’s car received a fantastic response, selling for over double the expectation. Coys always brings an astounding selection of rare and incredibly unique cars for auction at Autosport International, and this year has been no different,”
We’ll have a day four report from the show tomorrow and there will be more about the BTCC at the show coming up soon. By Marc Waller