I can happily say that the wait to go to this years Autosport International Show has been worth it...
Warning: Grab a cup of tea, maybe a few biscuits... Its a long one...
On Saturday I travelled up to the Birmingham NEC on the train with my partner Nik to take part as one of their Official Bloggers. The early morning train did little to suppress my excitement which has been slowly building since August 2014 when I was chosen as one of the competition winners.
Once we arrived, we sorted out suitable transportation for Nik (A Rented Buggy) and then headed to the Media Centre to pick up our passes. Whilst there, I met up with Alex Golschmidt who will be covering the DTM this season for TouringCars.net (plug) and gave me a few pointers regarding the show.
Naturally, being fans of the BTCC and other tintop series, once we were inside Hall 6 we took a slow walk around to get our bearings and take in the size of one part of #ASI15. We found the Laser Tools Racing stand next to PopBangColour, where the new NGTC Mercedes A-Class Challenger that young Aiden Moffat will drive was on display. Not far from there was the Dunlop Stand of which was home to the 2015 Triple Eight MG6 of Andrew Jordan, the 2015 Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50 in its new livery, the 2014 Honda Civic Tourer and Rob Austin's faithful Audi A4 "Sherman."
Keeping in the BTCC theme, around the corner was the Handy Motorsport Stand, which was voted as the best stand at the show and the team proudly displayed the award during the show. Tom Ingrams 2014 Speedworks Toyota Avensis could also be seen at the show along with the 2014 WIX Racing Mercedes of Adam Morgan not far from the Laser Tools Racing/PopBangColour stand.
Hidden away on the Miller Oils stand were Mike Bushell and his NGTC Challenger for his maiden full season in the BTCC, The AmD Ford Focus, keeping the now tradition Red and Black colour scheme for the 2015 season.
As usual, the F1 Racing Magazine had its grid of 2014 Formula One cars on display, with the all conquering Mercedes proving to be the most popular poser for photos. Further around the show were the MSA Stand, showcasing some of the cars from the UK's Motorsport Championships, including the new MSA Formula Mygale that will run to the new FIA Formula 4 rules. On the Porsche Stand there was one of the Carrera Cup GB cars on display, whilst over at the Autosport Stage the 2014 Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 car was joined on display by Andy Priaulx's 2015 BTCC BMW 125i NGTC Challenger, the Formula E Display car and the new McLaren GT racer, the 650S.
We wandered back and forth through the show, taking in the different stands and cars on show and it all added to the amazing day we had as we walked around. Over at the Silverstone Classic stands were iconic cars such as the Audi Quattro Sport, the Honda Accord Super Tourer of Phil Dodd who won the 2014 SuperTCC series along with the Sauber Mercedes from the Group C era of Sportscar racing and many others on display.
Over on the 60th Anniversary Motoring News Display was my chance to get a picture of the PSRX Citroen DS3 Supercar that Petter Solberg piloted to claim the 2014 World Rallycross Drivers Championship. As my readers know, I love my Rallycross of late and seeing this car was on my tick list. Nearby was another Super ouring Honda Accord from the BTCC, this time piloted by Tom Kristensen who won the last ever BTCC SuperTouring race.
Further around the show, I found the BMW SuperTouring car driven by Peter Kox in the 1995 season of the German SuperTourenWagen Championship that has been fully restored to its former glory and is ready to be raced in series such as SuperTCC and the like. Another historic favourite Touring Car of mine there was the Group A DTM Eggenberger Ford RS500 driven by Manuel Reuter. Those cars look so beautiful!!
Well, this is the end of the first part of my ASI15 Blog, the rest is continued in Part Two...
All the best,