AutoSport International 2020
January. A month in the automotive calendar where in the past nothing normally happens. No motorsport. The cold climate halting our time on the road with our chariots. The shorter, chillier days compounding a desire for sunnier, warmer evenings doing “cool car shit”.
However, the weather isn’t that bad the last couple of winters and there seems more early meets than ever. Take Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble for instance, and the Brooklands Museum Classic Gathering on New Years Day. Events that can give us folk with love for anything propelled by a motor some respite from the grey is always going to be enjoyed.
Plus, we have had a hero event for sometime now, and as time has gone on has served to be the pre season starter in its own right. Since 1991 AutoSport International has become the place to catch up with all the goings on in motorsport, and I do mean all. More recently the event has opened itself up to the performance and modification arena, almost turning into a mini Essen. This is growing at such a rate, but more on this later.
With the event split into key areas within four halls; The Racing Car Show, Engineering Show, Performance and Tuning Car Show and the Live Action Arena, there is so much to look at for any enthusiast. They even had a huge gaming arena with dozens of simulators and various driving games to try out.
I was lucky enough to get a ticket from friend of RennEleven Raj Sangha of Car Audio Security (big thank you Raj!), who had one of the busiest and best stands of the event. Amazing to see a business grow in the way it has. The car’s they had on display were brilliant, including Raj’s own E30 M3, F87 M2 and his first 911, his 964. Being the UK’s chief supplier of AirLift Performance air suspension, his cars are all treated to the top end 3H kits, and all look the absolute business.
CAS were based in the Performance and Tuning Car show area, which showcased a lot of what is going on with high end and premium cars and tuning. Liberty Walk EU, famed for their wide arched supercars had a great display including their Aventador, i8 and Suzuki Jimny, and copious amounts of Monster Energy drink. I would be up all week, with the worst comedown with just a sniff of them. Urban Automotive with their luxury custom SUV’s, Yiannimize and his Car Wrapping business (plus another Aventador), and Kream Developments with an array of high end cars including an AMG G63 6X6, Veyron and various GTR’s had the Performance and Tuning area on lock down.
Not many Porsche’s to perv over though, save for the Varlowe 991 GT3 race car and the 991 GTS on ABP suspension by Plush Automotive in this hall. Shame really. I know I’m biased but it would be great to see more than a brace of 911’s being fettled in the tuning area. Surely it's the most reliable, defining sports car that enjoys being tinkered with to be improved. I did it say it though, biased.
Moving around the event, the Porsche stand had some nice metal on display. A GT3 Cup, GT4 Cup and GT4 Road cars made up their display. Stuttgart Classica had their Group 4 bodied G on display looking tough as old boots as well as Team Hard's latest acquisition, a 991.1 GT3 cup car. Turner Race Developments Guards Red 964 too pride of place on the Bilstein stand with it's very cool Bastos livery.
Please do your best to book a seat for the Live Arena as you will have a great hour watching many racing disciplines, mostly grassroots, racing around a multi purpose indoor arena, highlight include British Drift legend Baggsy tandem drifting in his GTR, Super Saloon Class 7’s racing around and going around corners with a front wheel cocked up and a funny display by involving a Vantage and a motorcycle. for £12 extra, it’s definitely worth it!
Which brings me to value for money. At £37 a daily ticket for an adult (concessions apply for children) it is quite a lot of money for entrance, but you do get lots off opportunities to see famous people. For instance, during this weekend F1 drivers Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc were milling around, along with absolute hero Billy Monger. These folks are milling around during the day as well, which goes to show the kind of pull this show has. Also, how many freebies do you want? I managed to grab my mitts on lots of cool free shit, plus some Ferrari gear (Friends birthdays sorted) so was excellent. If you’re nice and polite to the people running displays you’ll probably have a bottle of water given to you too. Proof that being a decent human helps. However, make sure you are there as early as possible to get a real feel for the event and have half a chance at seeing it all.
Apart from arriving later, I spent most of it catching up with old faces I hadn’t seen in some time. For me, the people make the event and I was glad to speak to some car folks. It’s amazing how we all move forward in our passions of cars. Although our tastes change, we don’t mature that much when it comes to our love for cars. Sounds like something to explore in another blog.
Overall, I would thoroughly recommend AutoSport International. Next year will be absolutely huge, celebrating their 30th Anniversary, so keep an eye out on www.autosportinternational.com for more info when tickets get released.
Subscribe to the RennEleven YouTube channel as I will be showcasing more on the vlog, including some action from the Live Arena!