January 2023: After an absence of a couple of years, due to the Covid pandemic, the Autosport International show is back! Billed as Europe’s largest Motor Sports show, it is the traditional start to the European racing season, where contacts can be re-established and new partnerships and friendships forged. The event is held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on the outskirts of Birmingham, which is pretty much in the centre of the UK and has good road, rail, and air access, not only for UK attendees but also for international visitors. Held over four days, Thursday to Sunday, at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham UK, the first two days are the Trade-only Engineering show, where all the “must-have” equipment is on display; the final two days are open to the public and comprise the Racing Car Show and the “Tuner-car Show” (which were also open to the Trade on the Thursday and Friday). I attended a public day on Sunday and my first impression was how much smaller than previous events it appeared to be; I think that corporate budgets for this type of event have been slashed, firstly due to the pandemic and secondly because of the financial recession and uncertainty pervading Europe. There was still plenty to see but mainly from the lower end of the racing car spectrum; there was a small display of recent Formula One cars and a fabulous V-16 engine BRM from the 1950s in a roped-off area but nothing like the major showpiece displays of former times.
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