Senna collection stars at Autosport International

| 12 Jan 2012

A display of ex-Ayrton Senna racing machinery is taking centre stage at this weekend’s Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham. The line-up even includes the DAP/Parilla kart that the late Brazilian used to finish second in the 1979 World Inter finals.

Formula One cars range from the Toleman TG183B in which he made his debut in 1984, to the 1993 McLaren MP4/8, the model Senna drove to his final Grand Prix victory. In addition, the acclaimed Senna movie is playing continuously on a big screen.

In among the more recent machinery spread across the NEC’s seven halls are plenty of older gems. Classic Team Lotus has erected an impressive display around its transporter.

On show is the Lotus 11 that Colin Chapman himself bought back at auction in 1970. Recently restored by long-time Lotus mechanic Bob Dance, chassis number 260 has retained all of its original bodywork.

Also on the stand are an ex-Ian Walker Racing 26R, marking the Elan’s 50th anniversary, and the prototype Formula 2 Lotus 12, which will be CTL’s next restoration project.

The FIA Historic F1 Championship has got six beautiful examples of the breed on its stand, including a James Hunt McLaren M23 and Niki Lauda’s Ferrari 312T.

The HSCC, meanwhile, is celebrating 60 years of Formula 3 with an impressive line-up of cars. A Cooper Mk5 that was once raced by Bernie Ecclestone is the earliest car on show.

Alongside it are other racers including an ex-François Cevert 1968 Tecno, one of the renowned 1-litre ‘screamers’. That class will get two standalone races at HSCC meetings through 2012, and the club reports that it’s one of the fastest-growing series in Europe.