Autosport International 2019
McLaren F1 drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris opened the first public day of Autosport International in what has been a spectacular day of star-studded interviews, including the global launch of the 2019 World Rally Championship (WRC) season.
The public were treated to the unveils of all four new 2019 season World Rally Cars: the M-Sport Ford, Toyota Gazoo Racing, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, Citroën Total WRT. Immediately after unveiling their cars, each driver at the show revealed their chosen race numbers for the upcoming year. All of the 2019 WRC cars will remain at the show on Sunday before heading of to Monte-Carlo for the first rally in two weeks time.
Away from the rally fanfare, McLaren’s 2019 F1 drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were on hand to entertain the crowds on the main Autosport stage. The main Autosport stage was abuzz with a raft of motorsport names present at the show. Former F1 driver Karun Chandhok, WEC racer Darren Turner, Billy Monger and a plethora of British Touring Car Championship drivers.
Tributes to the late Henry Hope-Frost were also paid on on the Autosport Stage. Crowds gathered to watch as drivers and close friends regaled stories of one of motorsports most loved presenters. A montage of Henry’s notable moments was played before the introduction of an all-new ‘#Fever Award’ was announced. An award which offers the winner a one year paid internship at Motorsport Network to cover a racing series for one season. The inaugural recipient was Lucy Morson.
A number of high profile cars went under the hammer from Silverstone Auctions. A 1966 ex-works Lotus Cortina, one of three built and raced by Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jacky Ickx sold for £150,000. A 1985 MG Metro 6R4, which was on display at Williams F1 factory for more than 20 years, came with only 175 miles on the clock and sold for the same amount. A 1935 Mercedes Benz Type 290 Cabriolet ‘B’ sold for well above the asking price at £108,000, thanks to a bidding war between phone buyer and the eventual winner in the room.
The Live Action Arena is open to those of all ages willing to see a range of loud, powerful machines driven by some of the world’s most skilled drivers putting together a spectacular show of drifting, precision car control and nail-biting stunts.
Those arriving early to Autosport International for the final day on Sunday will see F1 legend Johnny Herbert, Billy Monger and Karun Chandhok open the show and talk on the main Autosport stage throughout the day.
Billy Monger was on hand to entertain the Live Action Arena crowds in his F3 car. The show saw a mixture of high-speed demonstrations and breathtaking stunt driving from Billy, Terry Grant and a host of competition drivers. Powerful racing and performance cars offered fans an unrivalled variety of racing action, all hosted by Sky F1 Lead Commentator David Croft alongside popular social media vloggers Shmee150 and Miss Emma Walsh.
Round 4 of the Le Mans Esports Series took place at the show. The two-hour endurance event comprised of both racers qualifying from online and the fastest times created across the four days at the show.
Over in the Performance and Tuning Car Show, social media and TV star Yiannimize met expectant fans on his Urban Automotive stand. The show, which housed a feast of some of the most prestigious names and car clubs, was packed with car fans of all ages looking for road cars that are tuned to be perfect performance machines. The all-new Motorious.com brand, an automotive hub for car collectors, was launched at the show with a feature comprising of a McLaren P1 hypercar.
[Text & Photos]