At this years Autosport International Show, there were some pretty iconic cars on display, from all parts of the motorsport world.
The main feature included Seventy Years of Motorsport, and there were some incredibly beautiful cars on display from Le Mans, World Rally Championship, Indycar, British Touring Car Championship, Formula One and Formula E.
All were game changers in their own way.
The decades of the 1950’s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s are all represented.
Away from there, there were other amazing displays. The Le Mans Toyota TS050 from 2018, the car that finally gave Toyota the victory that it has craved for decades, with Sébastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima sharing the driving duties.
There was a display of Formula One cars as well.
Below is a group of classic rally cars – Some iconic machinery here, from the seventies, eighties, nineties and two-thousands. Three cars driven by Colin McRae featured as well.
Well, we hope that you have enjoyed this look back to this year’s Autosport International Show, while we wait for the racing season to re-start.
James Gornall has rounded off Trade Price Cars Racing’s BTCC line up for 2020, and has confessed to a somewhat unusual way of spending New Years’.
“The first thing I did before I went to sleep at New Year was watch the pole position laps at every single circuit in 2019.”
Gornall joins after winning the Mini Challenge UK series in 2019, and confesses he will be taking as much advice as he can ahead of making the step up.
“I’ll ask Bobby as many questions as I can think of and take any advice he can give me, same as any other friends that race in this series. There’s always a lot that you can learn. When I go back to my British GT days I used to watch onboards of all the cars I was racing against to see what their characteristics were like so I could see where to best lunge at them or find an advantage. I’m going to do the same stuff here.”
While he has been racing in other series, notably in the British GT series, the British Touring Car Championship has been an itch that Gornall has long wanted to scratch.
“We’ve been talking about Touring Cars for a few years now as I feel it has always been my destination. We came back into saloons and did the Minis last year to learn front wheel drive ahead of a move into the Touring Cars.
“I spoke with Dan (Kirby, team owner) a year ago about this when he launched the team and I am happy that we made it happen as I did say to him then that I would win the Minis and the come and race for him.”
While he wanted to use the Mini Challenge to help prepare for a full British Touring Car programme, Gornall acknowledges that the schedule will be totally different even if he is now more used to his machinery.
“I’d say Minis are completely different. I did it to learn the car characteristics or a similar car characteristics but the Touring Car weekend is certainly light years ahead and in on-make championships like the Minis you do get a bit of rough and tumble, no-one really is planning to have rough and tumble but it’s nice see how that is in that environment. It’s been good preparation, this is something completely new and I will be going for it.”
There will be a new car in the British Touring Car Championship for 2020 as Hyundai enter the sport for next season.
The brand have a rich Motorsport heritage in recent years, especially in the World Rally Championship, having won this season’s constructors championship. They also have touring car experience having ran in TCR and WTCR.
They link up with Excelr8 Motorsport for the new season, replacing the old MG6’s that were used in their debut season. Excelr8 picked up four points with Rob Smith and Sam Osborne behind the wheel grabbing two points apiece.
The drivers are yet to be announced but Excelr8 will be aiming for consistent points finishes in the i30 Fastback N Performance. Thankfully for the team, the Hyundai is a similar shape to the MG and so this should help Excelr8 who are now well aware of the inner intricacies of an NGTC car.
Though this also means the likely end of the MG6 GT, which has been in the series since 2012. Driven by some of the finest drivers of this generation, including Jason Plato, Andrew Jordan, Sam Tordoff, Ash Sutton and Josh Cook.
It won 24 races over its time in the BTCC with Plato finishing runner up in the championship to Colin Turkington in 2014. The 6 GT also won the manufacturer’s crown in 2014, remaining a manufacturer entry until 2018. AMD Tuning and Excelr8 have used the car in recent years with no luck.
While it is still early, and many teams are yet to announce their cars for next season, the MG has most likely driven its final race.
Tom doesn’t need much introduction. He made his debut in the BTCC aged 17, driving a Vauxhall Astra for Barwell Motorsport. He would take his first victory at Silverstone in 2004. He has taken 15 victories to date in the BTCC.
He very kindly agreed to answer some questions for us.
Now two podiums at the start of the year at Brands Hatch, including a win that was taken away from you was a good start even excepting the penalty for the clash with Matt Neal. Then 4th being the best result in race two at Donington Park was quite a good start. Sum up your thoughts for me at this stage, as you were fourth in the overall championship and also first in the Independents Championship.
We got off to a great start to the year. After Race two at Donington Park, we were leading both the British championships which is nothing to be sniffed at. Our problem was when we hit the hard tyre in race 3, we cannot get the hard tyre to work at all.
Thruxton was a nightmare of a weekend, and I see that you have suggested to Mark Blundell that he should step out of the championship following the clash, you had with him during qualifying. Could you describe what actually happened, and how that effected the rest of your race weekend?
Nightmares are better than how Thruxton went. It’s frustrating when anybody holds you up in qualifying, especially someone with so much experience like Mark. Having said that, Team Shredded Wheat racing with Gallagher was amazing and fixed the car so quickly.
Thinking about car setup, do you think there are certain tracks that the Focus goes better at, and what influence do the different tyres have in making the car stable? Also, when success ballast is added to the car, do you change anything in the setup to compensate?
The Focus has always been better at the tight twisty circuits due to its shorter wheel base and hatchback shape not needing to worry about drag for straight lines as much. Last year, I got a double podium at Oulton Park which is a real chassis circuit. You have to always change the car between circuits, tyres and success ballast. Which is one of the reasons why the BTCC rewards such experienced teams and drivers. It’s very hard to get it perfect every time.
It looks like Josh Cook and Rory Butcher are the drivers that you will be battling with for the rest of the season for the Independents Crown. When you look at the standings, can you see any other drivers like Jake Hill, Sam Tordoff and Adam Morgan joining the battle for this championship?
This championship is one of the most competitive championships in the world. You can’t count anyone out. All of our lap times are so close it still can be anyone’s. For me I just need to focus on myself and keep clicking those gears. Points make prizes and I love prizes!
Many thanks to Motorbase/Jakob Ebrey for the photos and for Romy Chandler for arranging the interview.