Christmas has come and gone for another year, you are all turkey-ed out, and Big Ben has chimed to start the New Year…but it still seems like forever until lights out in Melbourne, with a smattering of testing and some car launches in between, and you are missing your motorsport fix.
So what’s a bobblehat to do? Well, head to the Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC on 16th & 17th January, of course! Badger GP will be there, and to whet your appetite, here are a few of the must-see elements of this year’s show:
ASI 2016 Partnership with Williams Martini Racing
Not to be missed, 2016 sees Williams bringing the largest collection of F1 cars ever seen outside of their Grove headquarters, with Dickie Stanford and Jonathan Williams appearing at the show as part of the team’s historic racing division, Williams Heritage.
Amongst the 8 cars on display will be the 1996 championship winning FW18, and what better way for Damon Hill OBE to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this momentous occasion than appearing alongside it at the show.
Felipe Massa joins the team alongside his FW37, following a season which saw him take two podiums and a sixth place finish in the drivers’ championship.
Another highlight of the display will be the 8 metre high Williams Martini Racing motorhome that is being erected alongside the Autosports Stage, the first time ever outside of a racing circuit. Visitors will be able to get a close up look at where the team reside in the F1 Paddock for European races, as well as meet Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams, and Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds who will be on hand to answer questions. Also in attendance will be Williams Chief Performance Engineer, Jakob Andreasen, and fan favourite, Head of Performance Engineering, Rob Smedley.
The Live Action Arena Show
As always, the Live Action show, in the 5000 seater indoor Arena at the NEC, promises to be a real treat. As well as some familiar attendees such as Terry Grant, there will be some new faces for 2016, and amongst these is IOMTT and TV personality Guy Martin, performing on a Honda CRF450 Short Track bike.
FIA WRX Champion Petter Solberg will be showing the crowd just what is World Rally Cross car his capable of, in what is promised to be a “showstopping mix of precision driving stunts”.
And continuing the link-up with Williams for this year’s show, fans will be treated to a 1983 Williams FW08C as part of the live show. This is a car that saw Ayrton Senna complete 40 laps at Donington in July 1983, as he drove an F1 car for the first time, and then went on to be driven by Keke Rosberg and Jacques Laffite during the 1983 season. A working piece of history, we can only imagine how great this will sound echoing around the arena.
The Performance Car Show
Running alongside the Autosport International show, the Performance Car Show gives visitors a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the supercars of their dreams, as well as see cars of this year’s theme “Hot Hatch Nirvana”. You will be able to vote for your favourite at performancecarshow.com/hothatchnirvana, and share your own for the interactive wall using #HotHatchTag.
If you are feeling lucky, then visit Sportscarhire on stand 19332 in Hall 19 during the show. As well as seeing a 562bhp, 0-60 in 3.1 seconds McLaren 570S in the flesh, you could win a day with one! They are also raffling a weekend hotel break with a Porsche Cayman R. So fingers crossed for you!
The Name’s Bond…
Visitors to the show will get the opportunity to see two of the cars driven by villain Hinx in the 24th Bond film, SPECTRE, the Jaguar C-X75, both on static display and in action as part of the arena show. These were developed by Jaguar Landrover Special Vehicle Operations, partnered with William Advanced Engineering, who work to transfer technology from F1 to other market sectors. Not to be missed!
Motorsport Shop Til You Drop…
Bring your pennies, because as always, the show promises to be a mine of merchandise and goodies. The many memorabilia stands and book stalls means that everyone from the occasional fan to the full-on bobblehat will find temptation lurking around every corner! Signed photos, collectibles, you name it. Notable stands not to miss are Memorabilia Giant (Hall 6), Race To The Finish (Hall 20), and Memento Exclusives (@MementoTweets) who might be difficult to pass if you’ve always wanted a wheel rim coffee table!
Also available to purchase at the show is the thriller “Driven”, by Toby Vincent, covering the cut-throat and competitive world of F1. Toby will be there at the show.
Fitness and Preparation Area
New for ASI 2016 is a dedicated Fitness and Preparation area in Hall 7. This will be an opportunity to take a look at the fitness equipment and nutritional products that they are showcasing, used by the works top racing drivers, and speak to experts that are on hand.
Hopefully that given you a taste of what you can see at the show! For tickets and more information, go to www.autosportinternational.com, and we hope to see you there!