11-14 January 2018


Autosport 2017

Timeline Highlights

1980 to 1989 - The Early Days

Owned by BRSCC, The London Racing Car Show took place intermittently from 1960 until 1990, at a variety of venues like The Royal Horticultural Halls, Cunard Hotel, Alexandra Palace and Olympia.

1989-1990 Haymarket announced Autosport International

After launching brand new Exhibitions Division, in January 1990, The BRSCC quickly cemented an alliance with Haymarket and Autosport International – The Car Racing Show – was scheduled to take place on the NEC in January 1991.



1991 - TWR's Jaguar launch - BBC's F1 Commentators

The show occupied Halls 6, 7 & 8 at the NEC and attracted over 150 exhibiting companies and over 30,000 visitors. Unlike the Racing Car ShowAuto Sport International engaged support from key motorsport suppliers including Prodrive, AP Racing, Koni, Lifeline, NGK, PI Research and Stack. The show featured a memorable display of Team Lotus cars, and also the launch of TWR's Jaguar XJR15.

Celebrities included Mark Blundell and the BBC's F1 commentators, Murray Walker and James Hunt. There was a racewear modelling on the Stage performed by dancers from the Clothes Show.

1992 - Allard Group C launch

The show made solid progress in its second year which featured the launch of the never to be raced Allard Group C sports car.

F1 commentators, Murray Walker and James Hunt attended the show.

1993 - Tyrrell Display

A display and dinner to celebrate 25 years of Team Tyrrell. Ken Tyrrell and drivers, Andrea de Cesaris and Ukyo Katayama attended, in addition to previous drivers; Sir Jackie Stewart, Martin Brundle and Jonathan Palmer. Motorsport dignataries Walter Hayes and Dick Scammell were also in attendance. Recently confirmed Williams’ driver, Damon Hill, was amongst the guest list.

It was also the last year at ASI of double act of Murray Walker and James Hunt who sadly passed away in June 1993.

1994 - Live Action Arena 

ASI introduced an exciting new live indoor motorsport performance, The Live Action Arena, which featured a Tiff Needell driving a host of legendary cars.

The show featured a memorable Mario Andretti tribute display and dinner attended by Mario himself. US racing and NASCAR legend, ‘King’ Richard Petty was present and paid tribute.

1995 - Goodyear Hall of Fame - Colin McRae performance

Auto Sports International became Autosport International. 

The show featured an unprecedented collection of over 60 F1 cars to celebrate Goodyear’s 30 years in the pinnacle of motorsport.

The Live Action Arena, hosted by Tiff Needell and Top Gear’s short-lived presenter, Tony Mason, featured Eurocars competing head-to-head. On top of that, Colin McRae performed in his amazing Subaru Impreza.

1996 - Autosport Engineering

Autosport Engineering introduced a new two trade only show within a show, aimed at specialist suppliers to the motorsport industry supported by Racecar Engineering Magazine.

Jaguar presented a display of their Le Mans winner in Hall 8.

Jeremy Clarkson joined Tiff Needell as part of the Live Action Arena presenters.

Sir Jackie and Paul Stewart and Ford announced Stewart Ford F1 Team.

1997 - F1 World Champion Damon Hill  

Britain’s F1 World Champion Damon Hill was the start of the show when TWR Arrows launched the new F1 car that he would go on to drive.

Malcom Wilson in an Escort Cosworth and Piero Liatti in a Subaru Impreza thrilled crowds with a dramatic demonstration against the clock at the Live Action Arena.

Eurosport sponsored the Live Action Arena as media partner and went on to remain with the show for the next six years.

1998 - Ayrton Senna Display

Fans flocked to see the Ayrton Senna display after the show was opened by Ayrton’s sister, Viviane and the Brazilian Ambassador.

Williams launched Nescafe sponsored Renault Laguna BTCC programme with drivers Alain Menu and Jason Plato.

British F1 stars David Coulthard and Eddie Irvine attended the show.

Samantha Janus joined Jeremy Clarkson and Tiff Needell as a Live Action Arena presenter.

1999 - BAR F1 Public Launch - Carlos Sainz demonstrations at the LAA

The show saw the worldwide public launch of BAR F1 team who sponsored the Live Action Arena. Stewart Ford launched their new F1 car with Johnny Herbert and Rubens Barrichelo.

The Live Action Arena moved from Hall 12 to Hall 8 to accommodate more space and was hosted by Top Gear presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and Tiff Needell, along with poster girl, Melanie Sykes.

Castrol Toyota launched their new Corolla with demonstrations by Carlos Sainz and Didier Auriol in the Live Action Arena.

2000 to 2007

2000 to 2007

2000 - Damon Hill Farewell - Trade development

Autosport International incorporated a technical marketing conference alongside other new initiatives including the introduction the Careers in Motorsport Area.

Thursday and Friday became trade only days with dedicated registration and business lounge. MIA held a business conference at the show.

Damon Hill bid farewell to F1 fans. Live Action Arena featured rally cars with Markku Alen in a Lancia Delta and Lancia Stratos, plus Stig Blomqvist in a Ford RS200.

2001 - Niki Lauda - Kimi Raikkonen - Juan Pablo Montoya

A new BikeSport section included for companies in the motorcycle racing industry. Including Yamaha, Honda and Susuki, plus bike racing legend Carl Fogarty attended.

Williams BMW introduced their latest F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya to the press and fans. Also Sauber presented an unheard rookie, Kimi Raikkonen as their new driver.

Niki Lauda was the guest speaker at The Sid Watkins Lecture.


2002 - F1 Grid - MIA Awards

A new F1 Grid was incorporated which featured one car from every F1 team.

The MIA hosted their annual MIA awards  alongside ASI.

Visitors were treated to an exclusive driver line up of Giancarlo Fisichella, Jean Alesi, Nigel Mansell, Mika Salo, Pedro de la Rosa, Allan McNish and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

2003 - WRC Display - Grand Prix Party

The Grand Prix Party was held alongside Autosport International and guests included Paul Carrack with drivers, Oliver Panis, Cristiano da Matta, David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella, Justin Wilson and Antonio Pizzonia also in attendance.

The show included a new World Rally feature with one car from each WRC manufacturer. The Live Action Arena featured the launch of the Formula Woman driver search programme and the appearance of four times World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen in a WRC Hyundai.

2004 - New Historic Area - Galleria Ferrari

Autosport International introduced a new and exciting Historic Area and the Duke of York opened the show.

A memorable official Ferrari display featured at ASI, showcasing over eight road and racing cars.

Jenson Button, BAR F1 driver attended the show.


2005 - Manufacturing Technology - Mark Webber

Following the success of Autosport Engineering, a growing number of companies who supply manufacturing equipment exhibited, and with the support of specialist media partner, Performance Engineering Solutions, ASI now included a new sub-section: Manufacturing Technology.

Fulda sponsored the Live Action Arena where former rally champion Stig Blomqvist drove his championship winning Audi Quattro.

New Williams F1 driver, Mark Webber attended ASI alongside Le Mans winner Allan McNish and rally legend Carlos Sainz.

2006 - Grand Prix Donington Collection

Autosport International celebrated 100 years of Grand Prix racing with 28 cars from the Donington Collection on display.

2006 was a record year for manufactures exhibiting at the show. With stands form Alfa Romeo, Caterham, Citroen, Dodge, Ford, BMW, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Subaru and Vauxhall.

2007 - Joint Business Lounge  & MIA Members' Lounge

The Business Lounge joined up with the MIA Members’ Lounge and was sponsored by UKTI.

ASI included a Le Mans feature organised in association with BEN and Motorsport Magazine with former winners of the race, Tom Kristensen, Derek Bell, Allan McNish, Guy Smith, Johnny Dumfries, Andy Wallace and David Brabham in attendance.

Prodrive showcased their Aston Martin DBR9 which ran at Le Mans in the Live Action Arena.

2008 to date

2008 to date

2008 - PistonHeads Show

With the objective of attracting serious performance car enthusiast and specialist car companies, the Piston Heads Show was launched.

BTCC had a display celebrating 50 years of Touring Cars and included 20 iconic machines. Celebrities at the show included David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Allan McNish, Mark Bludnell, Andy Prilaux and Mikko Hirvonen.

A tribute feature to the rally legend and former World Champion Colin McRae was held at the show.

2009 - David Coulthard Goodbye

The show featured a display of all the F1 cars David Coulthard had driven in his career after retiring.

ASI launched the new Go Motorsport ‘Get started in motorsport’ feature operated by the MSA.

PistonHeads Show featured a display content including 50 years of the Porsche 911.

BMW Car Club presented a line up of M-Power and Subaru showcased the evolution of the Impreza since it was launched in 1993. 

2010 - The Jenson Factor

Current British F1 World Champion Jenson Button attended the show. Public visitor level grew.

Fifth Gear came on board as a Live Action Arena media partner, bringing their presenters, Tiff Needell and Vicky Butler-Henderson to the NEC.

The show included a new feature to celebrate 60 years of Autosport Magazine.

2011 - McLaren Display - International Motorsport Business Week

Autosport International featured a McLaren display showcasing all their F1 Championship winning cars and their recently launched road car, MP4-12C.

A new initiative was launched, aimed at attracting more overseas visitors and serious trade buyers from UK – International Motorsport Business Week (IMBW). This included symposiums, conferences and seminars, an international business exchange and industry awards dinner. Supported by Race Tech, MIA and sponsored by UKTI.

2012 - Ayrton Senna Display

In honour of the late great Ayrton Senna and the documentary showcasing his life and career, ASI featured a display including a selection of F1 cars he drove like Toleman, Lotus and McLaren.

British Rally Heroes , a new feature that included an impressive line up of rally cars from such legendary drivers as Paddy Hopkirk, Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Tony Pond and Roger Clark. 

2013 - Jackie Stewart Display

Show content included a Sir Jackie Stewart display and appearance and a Richard Burns tribute rally exhibition.

A new BTCC feature was held at the show, and current champion Gordan Shedden attended.

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey, F1 driver Paul Di Resta, Derek Bell and Allan McNish also appeared at the show.

2014 - Autocar Star in Live Action Arena

New emphasis was placed on enhancing the audio and visual effects of the Live Action Arena to improve the overall visitor experience which was hosted by Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft and Gadget Show presenter, Pollyanna Woodward.

Autocar added vital motoring content to the Live Action Arena with a live drive-thru of 10 of Britain’s Best Drivers’ cars as featured in the magazine.

2015 - Petter Solberg Stars in The Live Action Arena

Current World RallyCross Champion and former World Rally Champion Petter Solberg was the star of the show and main attraction in the Live Action Arena who thrilled fans.

Track Icons and Wild Road Cars was a brand new feature in which Silverstone Classic & Sports Car delivered a line up of historic racing cars and classic road cars which was a popular new feature for the show.

Autosport Engineering featured a new low carbon area featuring a number of companies showcasing their low carbon technology.

2016 - Williams F1 Paddock - Felipe Massa

A stunning new feature linked the Williams motorhome to the Autosport Stage, surrounded by a display of Williams’ championship winning F1 cars, plus a demonstration in the Live Action Arena. Williams driver Felipe Massa also joined the show.

Autocar and Piston Heads featured a display on the evolution of hot hatches from the early 1970’s up to the present day.

Top drivers and BTCC champions Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan were present at the BTCC display.


2017 - Williams celebrate 40th anniversary   

Williams Martini Racing celebrated its 40th anniversary with an interactive feature where visitors could immerse themselves in the history of the team. 

1997 F1 World champion Jacques Villeneuve and Indy Car Legend attended the show. 

50 years of Rallycross was celebrated in the Live Action Arena, plus Terry Grant and Lee Bowers showcased the world's first passenger loop-the-loop stunt. 



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