The start to any year means one thing: find a treadmill. It also means it’s time for the annual Autosport International Show (ASI), held at the N.E.C Birmingham. This year is no exception, with hundreds of grid girls, cars, and grid girls* on show to the trade and public alike.
With Badger GP of course present, we count down our top five highlights of this year’s show. Do you agree with us or have your own personal revved up favourites?
The F1 Racing, F1 Grid of F1 cars, from F1
Always a highlight and crowd pleaser, F1 Racing displayed the machines of 2013, from Caterham right up to Red Bull Racing. Mind you, Sauber must have sent the wrong car; with a more unbelievable nose than Barbara Streisand gracing the chassis… Either way, it’s not often you can get quite as physically close to the sport as at ASI.
John Surtees and his 1962 Ferrari
No that’s not the title of the new novel, it’s just the mere headline story of the show: John Surtees and the rarest of rare Ferrari 158 that he piloted in the 1964 F1 World Championship. The car took Surtees to victory at two of the sport’s most iconic locations in the Nordscliffe and Monza during it’s service. More importantly than that, it took him to the title in ’64, and even more importantly than that, its presence at ASI is helping to raise money for the Henry Surtees Foundation.
John Player Specials, John Player Specials Everywhere!
Black and gold means Andretti, Senna, Fittipaldi… the list of illustrious figures goes on. So it’s nothing short of joyous that Team Lotus have rocked up at this year’s ASI with a trio of John Player-clad motors, and leaving a puddle of drool in their wake. Of particular note is the crippled structure of a previously driven Fittipaldi chassis, currently being restored by Classic Team Lotus back to it’s original state.
You have to hand it to Caterham. Over the last two years they’ve dipped their toe into many waters, from F1, to Motorcycling, from Sailing, to cycling. So it’s no surprise that this year they’ve take the show by storm, showcasing their 2013-F1 challenger alongside the brand new AeroSeven road-car. Both are kind to the eye, and we dare say that were it not for an empty fuel tank and lots of barriers, they’d be kind to the ear too…
The Artist, Paul Oz
Each year’s ASI always offers a fantastic range of motorsport, including the merchandise and art surrounding it. Paul Oz is at the forefront of F1 artistry, with his fantastic compositions wowing the crowds as ever. From textured portraits of the greats such as Hamilton and Schumacher, to more 3D productions of mechanical bulls and Skull structures painted in the infamous Senna colours. No, really. You really do need to see it to believe it, and believing is worth it.
Do be sure to pop in to the Live Action Arena – it can be a bit cheesey at times, but where else can you see such awesome motorsport under a roof, legally? Exactly, it’s brilliant. Make sure you check it out in 2014 and you’ll be treated to F1 stockcars and some brilliant classic F1 cars too… yes they live on!
Note from the editor – *There is a silly number of lyrca clad women at the show which is amazing. I don’t mean in a good way, I mean amazing that it actually still happens – this archaic tradition (of sorts) which is degrading to women the fact that it still happens and is positively encouraged is just hilarious, in a shocking way. If you must, MotorsTV has compiled a gallery.