A new year means another visit to the Birmingham’s NEC for the annual trip to the biggest motor racing show, the Autosport International.
The main highlight was the 50th anniversary of the British Touring Car Championship. Seeing the many ‘tin top’ racing cars up close was a real treat, especially the dominate Vauxhalls of the late 90s but I was slightly disappointed not to see the sinister black Ford Sierra that dominate the series in the mid 80s.
Another high point was the Colin McRae tribute stand, featuring an impressive collection of rally cars. Observing all these vehicles that the 1995 World Rally Champion drove throughout his career was highly emotional and it is still a shock that the popular Scot is no longer with us.
The Live Action Arena was extended with more racing action from the likes of Formula Palmer Audis, stockcars and new to the show, dragsters. These straight-line accelerating monsters sounded great in particular the 1953 Studebaker. I was amazed how much tire smoke it produces as the whole arena vibrated to its powerful engine (not to mention going deaf)!
As for the Formula One grid, it was fascinating to see the 2007 single-seater cars up close and personal. The chrome McLaren is simply gorgeous while the ‘earth’ theme Honda didn’t… This year’s Autosport International also included an extra feature, the Pistol Head performance car show and to be honest, I wasn’t a fan, Sure it was nice to see exotic supercars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, but it felt like I stepped into Max Power world… And it didn’t help that the promo girls were wearing less (on second thoughts, that’s a good thing!).
At the end of an exhausting and long day, we left with a range of photographs stored on our digital cameras and fantastic memories of racing cars and stars.