Autosport International 2020

I’ve been to a number of Autosport International shows over the years. From a content creators standpoint; it’s a good indication what’s popular in the motorsport industry at the moment, it’s a great opportunity to network, and there’s a good chance you’re going to see something a little unexpected.

The show is hosted by Autosport Magazine, who this year are celebrating their 70th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion there was a big stand of significant cars from the 1950s up until present day.

Starting from the most recent decade, we have the Mercedes W06 Hybrid.

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Porsche’s 919 Hybrid. The petrol engine in this is V4, which is quite unusual.

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I’ve not rally followed Formula E that closely over the short time it’s been about. Whenever I see it on TV it always produces fast, wheel to wheel racing. I might have to get to the London round this year, which is at the end of July.

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The Brawn BGP001 from 2009. Brawn GP only competed in 2009, but they won both the constructors championship and Jensen Button won the drivers championship with them. They were swallowed by Mercedes thereafter.

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The Audi R10. The first diesel to win at LeMans.

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The rivalry between Subaru and Mitsubishi was intense in the 90’s rallying world! I was always a fan of the Imprezas when I was little.

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Nigel Mansell’s Lola Ford Indy Car from (I believe) 1994.

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Williams FW14B

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The Group C era produced some stunning cars, but in my opinion the Silk Cut Jaguars are some of the best looking LeMans cars ever.

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Although I agree with the ban on advertising cigarettes on race cars, the liveries produced were just iconic.

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Cosworth Sierras are idolized here in Essex. They are a fantastic car though.

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The Lancia Stratos.

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Porsche 917 with its’ incredible Flat 12.

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Gold Leaf Lotus Type 49. Stunning car and another beautiful livery.

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Mk1 Cortina.

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Maserati 250F.

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Jaguar C-Type.

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I first started going to Autosport in 2012, when drifting was really becoming a mainstream motorsport here in the UK. There were a handful of drift cars at the show this time.

Here we have James Deane’s Eurofighter BMW.

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Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni’s street car, sporting the ‘Crewsade’ livery. Crewsade will be a series of automotive events, from what I can tell. Baggsy was also doing drift demo’s in the Live Action Arena.

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Luke’s S15 Silvia has a very striking wrap!

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I don’t think I’ve seen the Driftworks R32 up close since about 2012. It’s changed significantly over the years.

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David Egan’s RTR Mustang. It’s nice to see some RTR branded vehicles here in Europe.

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Prodrift Academy. One of several schools in the UK dedicated to teaching the art of drifting.

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Another thing that always attracts me to Autosport is the Formula 1 cars. It’s a rare opportunity to get this close to current generation Formula 1 cars. They are so incredible intricate!

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There were a few BTCC cars scattered about. BTCC is another series I’ve never really covered on this blog? Would you like to see it here?

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The biggest surprise for me was the amount of rally cars, both modern and historic. There were lots of interesting machines present.

The mid-late 1990s were a really special time in rallying for me. I was a huge Subaru fan when I was a youth. The Impreza was my favourite but I have a lot of happy memories with the Focus on Colin McRae Rally 2.0.

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Group B is probably my favourite era for rally cars now. The seires was obviously wrought with tragedy, but it made some bonkers cars. The maddest in my opinion is the 6R4 Metro. It’s such a contrast to the grocery getter production car on which it was based.

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Ford started developing a Group B program using the skin of the Mk3 Escort (dubbed the RS1700T. It was an honour to see it in person). It had a number of problems though and Ford ditched the project to build dedicated rally car.

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That dedicated rally car would be the RS200.

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The Ferrari GTO was also supposed to race in Group B. Sadly the series was ended before the car had a chance to race.

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There were loads of other cars from various eras and levels of competition dotted about the place.

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The more I see modern rally and rallyX Fiestas the more I like them. They are such a far cry from the production Fiestas that we see every day here in the UK.

You can buy body kits to replicate the extended arches etc. I’d certainly like to see one on a road going Fiesta.

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At the other end of the hall we have the Performance Car Show. This is a little bit closer to a more traditional car show. There were lots of super cars and SUVs:

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There were also some really nicely built and presented modified cars:

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The other thing that surprised me at Autosport was how many simulators there were. I didn’t get any pictures at the time because they aren’t really my thing, but they seem to be exploding in popularity. Again, I’m going to leave it to you guys, would you like to see me create content on simulators and video games? I’ve dabbled with it before so I am open to the idea!

Thanks for reading! Autosport is always an interesting show and a great way to start a new year. Thanks to everyone who came and said hi and took a sticker.

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By Richard Francis

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