70 Years of Autosport

Autosport International 2020 hosted some of motorsport’s most revolutionary race cars for fans to enjoy, showcasing some of the most famous world – beating racing cars from seven glorious decades!

The 1950s featured the introduction of the Formula 1 World Championship and rapid development in endurance racing. Jaguar designed the C-type and Maserati brought out the 250F. Both displayed at Autosport International. The C-type won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1951 and ’53, while the 250F celebrated two F1 titles along with eight wins, eight poles and 10 fastest laps.

The Porsche 917 transformed the 1970s endurance racing landscape. Its flat-12 engine could propel the car to speeds of up to 240mph down the long Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. The 917 won the prestigious French enduro twice in 1970 and ’71 before heading across the Atlantic and annihilating Can-Am.

Throughout the 1980s, the popularity of touring car racing grew rapidly with major car manufacturers investing in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and global tin-top series. The Ford Sierra RS500 was hugely successful in Australia, winning the Bathurst 1000 and Sandown 500. It also celebrated victory closer to home, extending its success into the next decade by winning the 1990 BTCC with Rob Gravett at the wheel.

Heading into the new millennium, Audi developed the R10. It was, at the time, the most expensive project ever undertaken by Audi Sport. The V12 powerhouse won its maiden race at the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring along with its debut at Le Mans in 2006. Unlike most LMP1 prototypes the R10 was powered by a diesel engine, and the fuel economy and broad power band proved advantageous for long- distance competition.

In the hybrid era, Formula 1 has developed the most efficient and fastest cars to ever race. One of the most dominant F1 cars in the last decade was the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid.
It won a stunning 16 races out of a possible 19 in the 2015 season.

Driven by now six-time champion Lewis Hamilton and 2016 title-winner Nico Rosberg, the combination of Mercedes’ hybrid technology and engineering brilliance put the car in a league of its own. The German manufacturer still continues to lead the way in F1, withstanding immense pressure from Ferrari and Red Bull.

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