The country’s premier motor racing indoor show, Autosport International, kicks off this week in Birmingham (14-17 January), and its star-studded lineup of racing personalities and world-class cars is a cause for real excitement in the Classic & Sports Car office. Here’s a list of our top ten must-see features.
Damon Hill OBE reunited with his Williams-Renault FW18
Celebrating 20 years since he won the 1996 Formula One Drivers’ Championship Hill will be at the NEC on the 16th and 17th January. He’ll be reunited with the Williams-Renault FW18, statistically the greatest-ever Williams racing car, which won 12 of 16 races in the 1996 season.
Williams Martini Racing motorhome
For the first time ever the Williams Martini Racing motorhome will be constructed away from a racing circuit, erected next to a revamped Autosport Stage. At more than eight metres tall, the motorhome will bring a real slice of the F1 paddock to the NEC.
Felipe Massa on the Autosport Stage
One of Williams Martini Racing’s current Formula One stars, Felipe Massa will be at Autosport International on the afternoon of Sunday 17th January to meet fans, sign autographs and give a glimpse in to the glamorous life of a Formula One driver with insightful talks on the Autosport Stage.
Jaguar C-X75 from SPECTRE
Two Jaguar C-X75s, driven on screen by villain Hinx (played by Dave Bautista), will be on display at the NEC. One will be in the Live Action Arena while the other will be next to the Williams Martini Racing motorhome. Specially-prepared for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment, the C-X75 was provided by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations in collaboration with development partner Williams Advanced Engineering.
Nigel Mansell’s FW14B on display
Not just one of the most successful Williams racing cars ever, but one of the most successful F1 cars in history. The Williams-Renault FW14B won nine races in a single season, securing Nigel Mansell and Williams the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships with five races to go. It will form part of an eight car line-up of Williams historic racers on display outside the Williams Martini Racing motorhome.
Claire Williams at Autosport International
Deputy Team Principal since 2013, Claire Williams knows more about Williams Martini Racing than almost anyone else. Claire will be at Autosport International on Saturday 16th January, giving showgoers unrivalled insight in to the running of one of Formula One’s best-loved and most successful teams.
Williams-Cosworth FW08C in the Live Action Arena
The chance to see a historic Formula One car on the move doesn’t come around very often so the appearance of the Williams-Cosworth FW08C in the Live Action Arena really can’t be missed. This car won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1983, and was the first car that Ayrton Senna tested. On the afternoon of Sunday 17th January, it will get a very special driver – Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa.
See Williams’ first-ever Formula One car
One of the largest ever collections of Williams Formula One cars will be on display at Autosport International, including the Williams-Ford FW06 – Williams’ very first Formula One car. The FW06 was the team’s single entry in the 1978 season.
Sky Sports F1 live shows
During the course of Autosport International Sky Sports F1 will be located in a specially created studio next to the Williams Martini Racing motorhome hosting up to three shows a day exclusively for visitors to the event. Sky Sports F1 presenters, including Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz, will be interviewing famous faces from Williams, including Felipe Massa and Claire Williams.
Williams Martini Racing engineers
Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds, will be present at the NEC on both Friday 15th January and Saturday 16th January whilst Chief Performance Engineer Jakob Andreasen will attend Thursday 14th January and Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering joining on Sunday 17th January.
Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 and Autosport Stages, they will be giving fans incredible access to the secrets behind designing and engineering a competitive Formula One car.
The Autosport International show takes place from 14-17 January* at the Birmingham NEC. Tickets for the event, which covers every aspect of motorsport from karting to Formula 1 and also engineering, are on sale now. Visit http://www.autosportinternational.com/public or call 0844 581 1420