Autosport International 2014

24th January 2014
I seem to have settled into a pattern, opting to view the first event of the weekend in the Live Action Arena before enjoying the rest of the show. A decent drive down the motorway, straight to the car park without pausing (not everyone realises that you can use two lanes), walk to the halls, pick up pass, join queue which has just started to move as the show has just opened at 9 am. This was the only pause so far there as everyone filters through the gates. That was good – I hoped it would bode well for the rest of the show!
I had a seat just four rows back. There were some tall people in the row in front. However, in front of them was a cameraman and he suggested to them that they’d get a better uninterrupted view if they moved back to some unoccupied seats further back. So those of us on the end of row D got a better view too. The show was introduced by Pollyanna Woodward from the Gadget Show and Mark Croft from Sky TV. The action did not disappoint. Stunt driver Terry Grant made a popular appearance, leaving his car creating doughnuts as he jumped out, ran into the grandstand, took a camera from a member of the audience, got back in the car and videoed the rest of his performance.
Most of the images below were taken at one of the afternoon sessions.

Pollyanna Woodward, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and David Croft on stage

Stunt driver Terry Grant with a camera from a member of the audience

Waving the chequered flag

UKFMX motorcycle display

Alexander Hvaal and Petter Solberg who form the all-Norwegian World Rallycross Team

Fans looking at the Red Bull 2013 F1 car

A TBR (yes, that is correct) Speed 12 Cerbera replica on the Helical Technology stand to showcase the company's exhaust and tuning expertise. Offers around £400k

Former F1 and Le Mans driver Allan McNish

Shane Lynch (formerly of the band Boyzone) with Team Japspeed in a drifting display

Jim Clark's Lotus 32B F2 car

A Lotus 49B F1 car, as raced by Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt

Mario Andretti's Lotus 79 F1 car

Brisca F2 cars

Smart Cars racing

Autograss Class 7 racers, this one driven by Laura Blaber

BMWs racing in the BMW v VW Challenge

National Hot Rods

A Brisca F1 stock car

An Autograss Special

A split car – they race round one way, then the other. They have a driver and engine in each half

National Hot Rod cars in the Live Action Arena paddock

Artist Ian Cook at work

There were better views of the cars and teams in the paddock area this time. The fences were around a metre in height, not the 2 m that had been used before. This allowed fans to chat to those on the other side and for the team personnel to interact with the fans, which is what it should be about.
There is something for everyone with many stalls catering for those participating in the many varied racing formulae and for those wanting to boost the performance of their cars. For many though, the chance to meet and listen to some of the top names is a big attraction. The times of the driver signings and appearances are given meaning you can plan your visit. I just missed out on seeing John Surtees, but I can’t be in more than one place at a time.
This gallery displays a selection of the promo girls.

All text and images © Keith Rowley 2014

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