The Autosport International motorsport extravaganza promises no shortage of action at the NEC this week. Here are the top 10 things to look out for
Matt Burt
5 January 2015

Autosport International, also known as ASI or The Racing Car Show, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Since it was first held in 1991, it has traditionally brought together motorsport celebrities, gleaming new race and rally cars, industry movers and shakers and, latterly, high-performance road cars.

That tradition continues at Birmingham’s NEC on 8-11 January, with the opening two days dedicated to the industry – including Autosport Engineering and the new Low Carbon Racing and Automotive Show – before the show throws open its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

There’s always plenty to see, but here are 10 good reasons to programme your car’s sat-nav to B40 1NT at the tail end of this week.

1 - Autocar display

The Lamborghini Huracán, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Vühl 05 and BMW i8 will form part of Autocar’s display at the Performance Car Show element of ASI. Autocar will also show off its collection of Britain’s Best Handling Cars in the Live Action Arena. The Mexican-built Vühl 05, now in production form, reprises its appearance in prototype form at ASI a couple of years ago.

2 - Go live in the arena

Autosport International’s 5000-seat arena, laid out within the NEC show halls, has gained infamy over the years due to its extremely slippery surface. While it is a challenge for competitors, though, it is great news for spectators, who get to watch all manner of tyre-smoking, oversteering action from the grandstands.

Confirmed for this year’s Live Action Arena are Formula Two short-oval stock cars, inaugural FIA world rallycross champion Petter Solberg in his Citroën DS3 and plenty of drifting, stunting and road-going performance cars, including some from Autocar’s own display stand.

3 - Most Radical

Radical will show its new SR8 RSX racing sports car at the show. The new model is priced at £131,940 and is powered by a 3.0-litre V8 engine that develops 440bhp at 10,500rpm along with 280lb ft at 7500rpm. No performance details have been revealed, but with a kerb weight of just 860kg, expect some blistering 0-62mph sprint times. The company will also reveal a go-faster version of its SR3, which takes the name SR3 RSX.

4 - Project Brabham on show

The bold plan to bring the famous Brabham name back to top-level motorsport via a crowd-funded project will be showcased at the ASI show. Led by Sir Jack’s youngest son, David, Project Brabham’s new approach intends to make motorsport more accessible, transparent and engaging to fans while allowing the team to be more self-sufficient.

Show-goers can learn more about the race programme, meet key members of the team and subscribe to the new project’s online experiences, Brabham-Fan, Brabham-Driver and Brabham-Engineer.

5 - Formula 1 grid

F1 Racing magazine, the world’s best-selling grand prix magazine, will once again assemble a full grid of Formula 1 cars at Autosport International.

Every team from the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship will be represented, so expect to see exhibits from the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren. Over on the Autosport Central Stage, meanwhile, there will be the chance to hear Formula 1 stars of today and years gone by discuss their racing careers.

6 - More powerful Zenos

Zenos Cars will show off a more powerful version of its E10 sports car, named the E10 S. Priced at £29,995, the E10 S is powered by a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine producing 250bhp.

Zenos says the E10 S has a 0-60mph time of less than 4.5sec and a top speed of 135mph. Available in both left and right-hand drive, the E10 S keeps the same styling as the standard E10 and is also road legal.

7 - Karting for Dan

Fans can raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society by competing in the Dan Wheldon Karting Trophy. The annual charity race, which will be held on 10 January, celebrates the life of double Indy 500 winner and 2005 IndyCar champ Dan Wheldon, who was killed in 2011. The Dan Wheldon Tribute Fund has raised over £51,000 to date, with last year’s kart race contributing £7000.

8 - Grab an autograph

Motorsport celebrities confirmed for the show include David Coulthard, Allan McNish and star drivers from the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship such as Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan and Gordon Shedden. British racer Will Stevens, who made his Formula 1 debut with Caterham in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is also on the guest list.

9 - Head down the local

In their wisdom, the organisers of ASI have given the chaps at Pistonheads.com, our sister brand, the keys to their own pub. The Pie & Piston will be situated inside the Performance Car Show element of the show. The Pistonheads team will be on hand to chat, and some of their favourite high-powered road cars will be present.

10 - Get technical

Held on 8-9 January, Autosport Engineering is the area of the show dedicated to specialist suppliers to the motorsport and performance engineering sectors. It embraces technology from other industries and showcases new suppliers and manufacturing expertise. More than 250 specialist companies will showcase cutting-edge tech from drivelines to race simulation systems.

How to get there

Tickets for ASI and the Performance Car Show are on sale now, costing £32 for adults and £21 for children. Visit autosportinternational.com or telephone 0844 581 1420 for details. The show is open between 9am and 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available on the day, but organisers recommend booking ahead to avoid queues.

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