||January 9, 2004
||Lauri Ouvinen, Matti Ouvinen and Ville Tikkaoja
The annual Autosport International Show was held 8-11 January. The show is
organized by the Autosport magazine and it's held in UK at the Birmingham NEC
exhibition center, which certainly have lots of room to host various
events. This year Racing Images also decided to visit the show.
As said the NEC exhibition center is fairly big complex and the Autosport
International was spread to its many halls. On show was lots of racing
related stuff - from racing cars to parts and merchandise. From the top
level motor sport there were lots of Formula 1 cars from different years.
One of the main attractions every year is a F1 grid, which has all
cars from all the current teams lined up on the starting grid. Lot of
older cars from the 80's and 70's were also on show. One of the
interesting ones for a racing enthusiast certainly was a Lotus 49
raced by Jim Clark in the beginning of the 1968 season.
Other top level motor sport included Petter Solberg's WRC title
winning Subaru Impreza and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Bentley EXP Speed 8 and
GTS class winner Veloqx Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello. Also a mighty
Porsche 917 coupe in Gulf livery from the 70's was present, although just
a replica. Ferrari also had its Galleria Ferrari from Maranello
presenting 18 cars from road cars to F1 cars.
Quite a big area was for the Coys auction, which presented cars and
other stuff to be auctioned a little later. Cars mainly included racing cars
from various years. One of the noticable cars was a Fittipaldi F8C F1 car
raced by Keke Rosberg in 1981.
And of course maybe the biggest attraction of the Autosport International
is always the Live Action show. A small racing track (mainly an oval)
is built in one of the halls where various kinds of racing cars are
demonstrated to the audience. This year the Live Action was hosted by
Tiff Needell (ex. F1 and sports car racer). Rally and other cars
entertained the crowd with little racing and nice slides.