The 2015 motorsport season is off to a flying start as stars, cars and action descended on Autosport International for a sell-out show.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the show treated enthusiasts to a sensational line-up of stars headlined by former F1 star and BBC F1 presenter David Coulthard, who opened today’s show alongside newly-crowned FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg.
“My 2014 season began at Autosport International, where I launched my plans for the year. Just one year later I’m pleased to be back in the UK as the first ever Rallycross champion celebrating with the fans and looking ahead to 2015,” said Solberg, who was seen wowing fans in each of the show’s 5,000-capacity Live Action Arena performances.
“It’s been another phenomenal few days fuelled by a real motorsport passion, I loved it.”
The show opened to the public on Saturday 10 January with 2014 FIA World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson cutting the ribbon alongside Britain’s most-successful sportscar driver of the modern era, three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Allan McNish.
“I’ve attended a number of Autosport International shows over the years and, like every year, it’s been a great weekend and a unique opportunity for both the industry and fans to come together,” he said.
McNish was joined by a host of world-class drivers, including 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Colin Turkington, F1 rookie Will Stevens, touring car champions Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden and Rob Huff, Audi sportscar ace Oliver Jarvis and 2014 GP3 Champion Alex Lynn.
Europe’s biggest dedicated motorsport show, Autosport International consisted of more than 700 exhibitors including exclusive displays and launches spanning every level of the sport.
Led by Lewis Hamilton’s title-winning Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car, the F1 Racing Grid attracted big crowds with the European unveiling of a unique Ayrton Senna portrait created by renowned British artist Ian Berry.
Known as ‘Denimu’, Berry uses shades of layered denim as his palette and was commissioned by the Ayrton Senna Institute to commemorate the 20th year since the three-time World Champion’s passing in 1994, utilising jeans owned by members of the Senna family.
A new feature for 2015, the ALCATEL ONETOUCH Wheel Change Challenge, allowed motorsport fans to get their hands dirty, testing their skills against the clock to win ALCATEL ONETOUCH smartphones and tablets.
Fans also flocked to see debuts at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship display, where it was revealed three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx will join West Surrey Racing for the coming season.
For fans already craving their next fix of auto-action, Autosport International 2016 will be held on 14-17 January*.