The 2015 Autosport Racing Car Show at the NEC pulls together all aspects of the UK Motor Racing scene, adds a splash of glamour with F1s DC present plus a bit of class in the form of some tasty historic racing morsels to enjoy. Armed with a camera we talked to the MSA and HSCC before taking the Friday trade tour.
Combining ClassicCarsDriven.com duties with Chairmanship of BristolMC, a motorsport orientated car club, I stole half of Friday away from other pressing work like commitments (desperate times I know) to pop up to the NEC. Arriving at 2:30pm gave me just a few hours to do a tour and do some business. First stop was the Motor Sports Association (MSA) stand where a potential way forward with marshalling sprints at Castle Combe Circuit was agreed in principle. Currently we have to find 37 volunteers which is increasingly difficult. The new way forward, if agreed in full, will help no end and hopefully lead to fewer sleepless nights.
As our plans to race the TVR 3000M this year in the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) 70s Roadsport Championship become closer to being a reality the 2015 Autosport Racing Car Show offered an opportunity to touch base with coordinator Charles Barter. Charles, whose son Julian also competes in a (much tidier than ours) TVR 3000M in the championship, was able to share some useful tips on tyre choice and not missing an opportunity to go up to 15” rims which increases tyre choice over the standard 14” rims. Thanks Charles.
Moving around the U-shape of halls that are all accessible from the main atrium entrance provided a useful insight into what’s hot and what’s not. Although by no means a classic car event there was still some interesting gems at the 2015 Autosport Racing Car Show. It seems that historic and classic cars are still going strong out there in the increasingly technological world of motorsport. For instance there were Escorts and Minis dotted about in various highly tuned forms whilst displaying sponsor names proudly down both flanks.
Rally GB had an Escort RS1800 sat next to an Impreza Turbo on their stand which resonated with yours truly who believes these two cars, despite being from different eras share a lot in common. Both after all became icons of their sport from quite humble beginnings. Both have seen values plummet, one though is now financially out of reach for most after numbers were depleted over time through grass routes competition use and the inevitable attrition that can lead to. Our advice is if you would like a rally icon in your garage before prices follow that of the Ford and sky rocket then bag an Impreza soon. We recommend going for in order an RB5, P1, RA, STi or any other model with a factory fitted roof vent, a sure fire indication of competition intent.
Dive into the Engineering Halls and you get thrown into a world of dynometers and machine tools interspersed with more familiar brand names such as Quaife showing off innovative solutions to changing gear. Interest here is more for those who prepare cars for the track. Elsewhere can be found providers of helmets, overalls and gloves with some good offers to be had, particularly package deals for those starting out.
Tyre companies had all clearly decided to make their already impressive displays stand out even more with tight fitting clothes, I’m saying no more, but always worth taking a look of course. When you do finally manage to look at the black round things you discover new offerings such as the Toyo R888 R or entire Nangkang range. I hadn’t really considered either and so worth having a good look if you are in the market (tyres that is, just to be clear).
There were also large displays of cars provided by the Silverstone Classic, HSCC who were celebrating Jack Brabham’s cars, Motorsport News celebrating 60 years in the business, testament indeed and Coys Auction who had put together a half decent mix of road and comp cars. The auction itself was due to take place the following day on Saturday 10 January at 2:00pm.
The 2015 Autosport Racing Car Show ticks the box if you have racing on your mind and if not provides a good excuse to get out in the post Xmas and New Year hangover that is January.
How does this event make you feel:
In one word: Inspired (to go racing).
As a favourite meal: No time to stop and eat unfortunately. Generally food though at the NEC has improved no end.
Anything else: The 2015 Autosport Racing Car Show is quite literally a trade directory laid out flat over several halls. Our only gripe with the NEC as a venue is the carpet and lighting which tends to give photos an unwanted tinge of rouge.
Key ingredients: A modern motor racing show with a nice touch of old school still present.
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