As the first show of the year, there’s a lot to see at the 2016 Autosport International. Here are ten of our favourites
With Christmas and New Year now quickly disappearing in the rear-view mirror, Autosport International proves the ideal place to kick-start the motoring season. Among hundreds of exhibitors, car launches and celebrities, we’ve been scoping out the top ten attractions at this year’s show.
1. Hot-hatches galore
This year’s show has gone hot-hatch mad, with some of the greatest pocket-rockets ever made gracing the NEC in Birmingham. Some of the highlights include a 1991 Lancia Delta HF Integrale, 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6, and the mighty 222bhp Ford Escort RS Cosworth.
2. Fast Fords
Another fast and cheap treat is offered up by the Ford RS Owners Club, with an impressive collection that includes a monstrous Ford RS200 and a Ford Capri rally car. Because, after all, who doesn’t love a fast Ford?
3. Williams out in force
The show’s star attraction this year lies with Williams’, and its assortment of some of the greatest racing cars of all time. Sitting in-front of the team’s two-storey motorhome, Damon Hill’s 1996 FW18 is joined by the ground-breaking F14WB, and Keke Rosberg’s 1978 FW08; Williams’ first ever F1 car.
4. BTCC everywhere!
The British Touring Car Championship never fails to disappoint at this show, and this 2016 is no different. Alongside a number of driver announcements and car unveilings, the stand-out tintop has to be Gabriele Tarquini’s 1998 Honda Accord, resplendent in the marque’s red and white racing colours.
5. Group B madness
They might have been too fast to race, but Group B rally cars formed the golden age of a sport now in decline. With that in mind, it’s great to see perhaps the most iconic British Group B car, the MG Metro 6R4, given a run out on the Wales GB rally stand this weekend.
6. Ford GT’s third album
Helping to front the main stand at Autosport International this year is the Ford GT GT1 car. Making its debut on British turf, the new GT features a 3.5-litre V6, advanced aerodynamics and the weight of the blue oval’s racing reputation on its shoulders, as Ford aim to reclaim their title at Le Mans in June.
7. COYS Auction
A highlight of every edition of Autosport, COYS’ auction is set to take place this Saturday with a stunning consignment set to cross the block. Highlights of the auction include a 1966 Lotus Seven (£25,000–£30,000), a 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT (£230,000–£265,000), and the range-topping 1998 Lamborghini Diablo SV 5.7 (£180,000–£225,000).
8. Hot-hatches: Part two
Okay, so we weren’t joking when we said that hot hatches were big at the show. Check out the ‘evolution of the hot-hatch’ feature. Members of the collection include a 1993 Peugeot 106 Rallye, a 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI, and the soon-to-be succeeded Ford Focus RS500.
9. evo presents the P1 GTR
The McLaren P1 has been a head-turner from day one, and in GTR-form its appeal stretches even further. Presented by our colleagues at evo and Octane magazine this weekend, the 1000bhp V8 monster from Woking promises to wow.
10. Ginetta reveals the G57
Yorkshire marque Ginetta has chosen this weekend to take the wraps off of its latest racing machine, the G57. The latest prototype offering from the company will compete in racing series across the globe, and is likely to win quite a bit too. Rumours have it that during testing, the G57 knocked 12 seconds off the fastest GT1 lap time set around Silverstone…
Words and pictures: Joe Diamond