As we resume our coverage of the Autosport International Show, the only place we can start is one of the most popular highlights of the whole weekend; the Live Action Arena. The crowds were treated to almost an hour of live motorsport demonstrations involving things that are likely to be new to some.
Fortunately, we managed to get backstage and behind the scenes where we found a whole collection of mental display vehicles, support crews and a few famous faces that you may have heard of in the form of stunt man extraordinaire; Terry Grant, BTCC star Jason Plato and the starlet of ITV’s BTCC coverage; Louise Goodman. At this point, and it’s rare, so note it down, I have to praise the team on 2 wheels, as the freestyle motorcross team put on a stunning display, including the first time I have ever seen a live backflip… mightily impressive I must say!
Back on 4 wheels, the Time Attack boys were out in force with competitors; Duncan Graham, Umar Masood, Richard Marshall, Neil Roberston and Marcus Webster all showing off their Time Attack machines. United Autosports, who, if you’re a fan of GT racing, you will recognise as running Audi R8s, were showing off their new McLaren MP12-4C car with a live pitstop demo. The F2 Stock cars were loud and noisy and appeared to be almost racing for real, and the same can be said for the mental bike engined, space framed Minis and Cinquecentos that were lifting wheels and generally storming around the arena!
The guys from Race2Recovery showed off their QT Wildcat Dakar Rally car and shared the story of bravery that is the military team who will be piloting the car in the race, some of whom have suffered horrendous injuries and even undergone multiple amputations during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. True heroes. Expect us to be doing some more with these guys in the near future. The finale was our favourite with 10 or so Big Van Bangers, yup, exactly what it says on the tin; van and commercial vehicles crashing, nudging and spinning into each other, great entertainment!
The trade area was of course a great bargain hunting spot, as well as checking out the latest toys and gadgetry. We came back with some goodies for our vehicles and many more of you lot did too by the look of it! Demon Tweeks were leading the way with their stand and although we had a whip around we decided that Stingray RV didn’t have anything in our price range, which is a shame, as it would have made an ideal place to stay for our 2012 travels! Pistonheads seemed to have scaled back their show presence this year, but still collected together some tasty cars including the Lexus LFA, Nissan GTR, Jaguar XKR-S and Ferrari F458!
The big players in the UK motorsport game were all there with the MSA giving out information on all governing body matters as well as the more specialised championships including the British Drift Championship who, along with Team Japspeed, which I’m sure most of you know, Boyzone member Shane Lynch drives for, were also part of the live action demos. Owners clubs were a new edition to the show as far as we can remember, with Porsche, TVR and BMW clubs all making an appearance at the show.
I’m sure there is lots we have missed, but then again, if we talked about everything that happened over the 4 days the show spans, we would miss the entire season, so we can only encourage you to go next year, and there is no excuse for not planning to go as the date for 2013 has already been confirmed as 19-20th January, and you can bet your bottom dollar we will be wandering about! For those who are desperately waiting for some hot girl action, our Autosport Promo Girl Special is almost ready to go live, so keep checking back!
Words – Ollie // Pictures – Ollie, Rich, Aidan & Chris