The Autosport International Show is the unofficial start of the new year in motorsport and a great day out for motorsport fans to get close to racing cars and get excited for the year ahead. If you’re going or tempted to grab a ticket, here are our highlights:
Bloodhound SSC (stand 9160)
Where else are you going to get up close and personal with a supersonic car? These land-speed record cars are incredible beasts, and the Bloodhound project is now getting near ready to run. You can visit them, see the car up close and there are a bunch of experts on hand to answer your questions. Definitely worth a visit.
(Nearly) All the F1 Cars
The annual “F1 Grid” can be found at the F1 Racing magazine stand, and features almost a full grid of F1 cars – only missing Sauber and Toro Rosso. It’s an opportunity to see the F1 show cars in close proximity, and Mercedes have assured us that their display is a real one, engine and all! When you head in through Hall 20, head right and you’ll find Pirelli and the F1 Racing stand there.
Jaguar Racing (stand 6440)
The Jaguar stand is an impressive one this year and features the only Formula E car on display at the show. It’s great to see an FE car up close and then alongside you’ll find Jaguar’s new I-Pace – the electric racing SUV – yes, SUV! The new racing series will act as a support series to Formula E for the 2018/19 season.
Ginetta (stand 6430)
A stand bursting with thoroughbred racing cars and features the newly launched LMP1 chassis – the one that Manor will race in WEC this season. It’s also our favourite racing livery at the show – you can’t miss the metallic blue and white classy design. As a side now, Ginetta also have the best table in show too. Yes, table.
Buy F1 parts (stands 2910 and 6730)
The show presents a great opportunity to see some great products that aren’t available on the high street. It’s nice to see these things in the flesh/carbon fibre and it’s a great chance to treat yourself to a real race-used F1 wing or go up a level and buy some hand-crafted furniture, made from raced F1 parts. Check out Race to the Finish for F1 parts and check out, Memento Exclusives (stand 6730) for some interesting furniture pieces.
Paul Oz (stand 6665)
The show also gives you the chance to see some Paul Oz artwork up close. Including some original pieces. Definitely worth a look, images online don’t do his work justice. He also has his latest new sculpture piece on show, in conjunction with Racing Gold – it’s called the “Pit Bull ” – a sight to behold.
The F1 tyre supplier has a large impressive presence at the show. You can touch the actual F1 wheels and tyres, admire the rainbow of tyre options, have a go at an F1 pit stop and test your reactions to see how you compare to an F1 driver. The stand has a selection of cars on display and is conveniently next door to the F1 Racing stand.
There’s a massive stand for Ferrari this year featuring a couple of their F1 cars and a collection of racing Ferrari cars from other categories too. It’s a bit closed off an “VIP only” – which is what you’d expect from them, but it’s worth a look. Handily next to the Pirelli and F1 Racing stands.
Live Action Show
As well as checking out lots of stationary racing cars, it’s well worth heading over for the Live Action Arena where you’ll get to enjoy some impressive racing and stunts. It’s nice to see to actual motorsport and it’s simply impressive to see what they do in such a small space inside the NEC. It would be a mistake to miss this out from your day(s) at the show. The cast of drivers is lead by Billy Monger this year too, so a little extra special.
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Lots of cars
As well as some fantastic modern racing machines, there’s a lot of great classic racing cars and iconic vintage cars throughout the show. The Pirelli stand features a 1960s Porsche, as well as the legendary Ford RS 200 rally car amongst others. Then, for a car park full of beautiful automobiles, head to the COYS auction stand where you’ll find classic Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Aston Martins and more. Looking is free. There’s also a stand for the Motor1 site which features some more impressive cars including a few McLaren supercars.
Other tips for the show
Wear comfy shoes. Don’t laugh, but you’ll be on your feet and walking a lot during a day here, so wear something reliable. Bring snacks, food offerings aren’t the best. Get here early on the Saturday/Sunday to see some of the popular stuff before it gets too busy.