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Autosport International - The Racing Car Show
NEC 14-17 January 2015


"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability" said Martin Luther King. As far as the Autosport Show is concerned, he was wrong.

First of all, it's not called the Autosport Show any more, it's Autosport International - The Racing Car Show. A bit of a nuisance as I've only just started calling it the Autosport Show instead of The Racing Car Show. But much worse is the reality that, good, enjoyable show that it is, it's not really a Racing Car Show. Because Racing, as we know it, has changed. Less than 10 years ago, there was a Constructors' Pavilion, containing production racing cars. Now as far as show exhibitors are concerned it's Radical and ......I'll get back to you. Oh, yes Ginetta. Modern single seater racing is a rarified place. The well intentioned but hopeless FIA initiatives have destroyed cheap and cheerful single seaters. Single seater series are barely visible. Today's flavours are historic racing and track day. It's no coincidence that the biggest single seater championship in the world is Historic Formula Junior. Quite how this sustains the motor sport industry as shown in the Engineering Show, I don't know. What's more, the show is no longer representative of the sport. There aren't any of the smaller clubs there, and almost none of the small specialist suppliers/resellers. There are far fewer race tyre suppliers with giant stands, and many more tyres of the "budget" competition type.

On a much more pleasant note, the show was good fun, people seem to like fast cars, and even in the present "economic recovery pause" there seems to be a fair bit of money sloshing around. The historic cars which were there were excellent, and it's always fun to see how much people can spend to make a road car go slower than a Monoposto car.  Education seems to have replaced club formulae as the source of some interesting show stands. And I did have one very pleasant surprise. The sandwiches may be horrendously expensive but they are excellent. Which you could never say about NEC sandwiches in the past.

Tony Cotton

Monoposto

Finding anything MRC related was a bit of a strain, but there was at least one real Mono car on show and a few tenuous links.








 
Good to see UWR present on an impressive stand. Hopefully we will see this very professional team again.
 
UWR also showed their Formula Student car.
 
Not in Mono spec, but at least a Vauxhall XE, long time stalwart of the 2 litre classes




Single Seaters

Leaving aside real historic and F1, there were some interesting exhibits


Where would the Autosport Show, or for that matter motor cycle engined cars be without John and Fraser Corbyn and the evergreen Jedi?

 
Chris Dittman showed his MSV F3 Cup Dallara, which was probably the newest "real" single seater on show (assuming the F1s are glorious but  plastic show queens).
 

 
MRF, Madras Rubber Factory, are India's biggest tyre producer and in the past sponsored Walsall's Martin O'Connell (of Silverstone Classic fame) in the F3 Madras Grand Prix.






Historica

Racing cars, road cars, exotica and affordabilia. It was all there.  
Dallara IndyLights car looked sleek, neat and about 20 years out of date. Rulemakers again. As long as it keeps the factory ticking over at Varano de' Melegari.
 
The auction had this Reynard ISCC car with a Chrysler 3.5l V6 from the year 2000. One of the last Reynard single seaters. Chunky.
 
Also in the auction, the pretty Euroracing 101 was a reworked March 813 F3.  It won the European F3 championship but I don't think Ron Tauranac (RT3) lost many nights' sleep. (Guide price 60k???)
 








Pontiac GTO on Serck stand can allegedly get to 200mph and is road legal. The nearest the Autosport show got to a Bowie tribute?
 
Williams stand was a real star. FW18
 
FW25
 
FW08, when no front wing was required.







FW11 as driven by the heroic,  popular and under-rated Nigel Mansell.
 
The Lotus 56 ran at Indy and in F1. It was powered by a Pratt & Whitney ST6, a PT6A variant.  How good that innovation is still a major factor in F1.
 
March 717 CanAm car. Big
 
The automotive equivalent of Sophia Loren or Audrey Hepburn. Classic, timeless beauty. (er, the Mercedes, not the Brian James trailer, though it was very nice.)






Well, it was a bit late, but it sat nearly finished on asst ed's computer.

It might provide some interest.
Ferrari 196SP "Evocation" commissioned by Chris Rea. Basically a 328 based special. Guide price was around the same as a really nice 328.
Bike's a MotoGuzzi
 
By law, if we show a Ferrari we have to show a Lamborghini.  This was before Gianpaulo Dallara got involved.
 
Autobianchi Bianchina Transformobile. With a name longer than the car it redefines "cute".
 


Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.