Autosport International 2017

Have you ever seen a car loop-­‐the –loop? I mean a real car, not a toy one! Well, I hadn’t either, until I saw it happen as part of the Live Action Show at Autosport International. At least, that is what I thought I saw, but I wasn’t certain if I could believe my eyes. The last time I can remember feeling like this was several years ago whilst marshalling at turn 4 at Laguna Seca. An Indycar did a back flip over a tyre wall, cleared a 12ft high debris fence, and landed upside down in a dry ditch. The two of us on the post looked at each other for a moment and said “Did you just see what I think I have just seen?” Having decided that we both had, we then thought we had better go and see if the driver was ok. I’m pleased to say that he was, and that our version of events was confirmed by the ESPN cameramen, whose head the car had flown over!Anyway,  back to  the  show. The  loop-­‐the-­‐loop  was performed by Terry Grant, and according to David Croft was the first time this had been performed with a passenger. The Live Action Show seemed a bit better than it has been for the last few years, and at least this time David Croft hung around for the whole show, rather than disappearing after the first 5 or 10 minutes, as he has done in the past! Also notable was a celebration of 50 years of rallycross, with a selection of cars from the era. There were examples of Audi Quattros, Metro 6R4s, and even a Ford RS200. Lastly there was a Porsche 911 from the first meeting at Lydden Hill.

Elsewhere in the show there was the usual selection of motorsport personalities. I couldn’t help noticing the boss of BTCC team West Surrey Racing, Dick Bennetts, deep in conversation with MSA Chairman Alan Gow, and Alan Gow looking like he wanted to be somewhere else! Also, Murray Grierson was taking a close look at Sebastien Ogier’s WRC Fiesta on the M-­‐Sport stand. I was impressed with the collection of all the remaining Lotus 49 single-­‐seaters on the Team Lotus stand, and on the Abarth stand there was a very nice rally version of the new 124 Spider. However possibly the maddest car of all was the top fuel dragster fitted with a replica VW campervan body. Still not certain I can believe my eyes!