F1 heats up Birmingham
January 13, 2013 by Autosport International
Temperatures in the UK may have plummeted, but the combination of horsepower, stars and cars warmed up the attending fans in an exciting celebration of motorsport during the 23rd Autosport International show.
Tens of thousands of motorsport fans flocked to Birmingham’s NEC as the public element of Europe’s biggest motorsport show got underway. The four-day show concludes tomorrow.
Three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, Sahara Force India Formula One Team driver Paul Di Resta and new FIA World Touring Car Championship and British Touring Car Championship titlists Rob Huff and Gordon Shedden appeared, signing autographs and entertaining enthusiasts.
They were joined by British former Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert and 24 Hours of Le Mans winners Derek Bell, Emanuele Pirro and Allan McNish. Di Resta and Herbert opened the show, which featured some of the sport’s most impressive machinery, including all of the 2012 race winners on the F1 Racing display and a collection of cars from Sir Jackie Stewart’s life in motorsport.
Attendees also enjoyed a tribute to Britain’s late World Rally Champion Richard Burns and a dedicated Dunlop MSA British Touring Car feature, including autograph sessions with champions Shedden, Matt Neal and Jason Plato.
“It’s been great to see so many passionate motorsport fans at the NEC today,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director. “There was a great atmosphere in all of the halls, particularly around the Autosport Stage and F1 Racing display, where our motorsport celebrities shared plenty of inside information. We’re looking forward to another big day tomorrow.”
Continuing on Sunday, Autosport International includes adrenaline-pumping shows in the Live Action Arena and the opportunity for fans to feel the speed of the sport through activities including the Caterham Driving Experience.
Also at the NEC, the best of the world of motoring is on show through The Performance Car Show: Powered by Pistonheads.com, home to a stunning array of machinery, including supercars from Lamborghini and Ferrari.
Visitors can also see the latest products and services from a diverse range of motorsport and motoring companies exhibiting at the show.
For its stand, featuring a Caterham F1 Team car, Caterham Composites won the award for Best Overall Stand at Autosport International. Other winners included AP Racing, Millington Racing Engines, TAKATA & Schroth, The Karting Pavilion and Thyssenkrupp Bilstein.