Autosport International
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Autosport International

Autosport International

This weekend's Racing Car Show at Autosport International will kick the 2005 season into life with a spectacular array of displays, launches and live action at Birmingham's NEC, and you can be there

Autosport International

The event, which runs from January 13-16 (with the first two days dedicated to trade visitors and the weekend for the public), features an all-star line-up of guests that includes past and present Formula 1 stars David Coulthard (Saturday), Mark Webber (Sunday) and Eddie Irvine (Sunday).

Other top drivers due on the Autosport Stage for interviews and autograph signings include Christian Klien, Champ Car star Justin Wilson, America's great hopes AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Mercedes' British DTM aces Gary Paffett and Jamie Green.

The ITV-F1 team will also be appearing, and show visitors will again have the opportunity to personally quiz Autosport's foremost F1 writer Nigel Roebuck in a live version of his popular autosport.com feature 'Ask Nigel'.

Although Jenson Button won't be present in person, he will be interviewed via satellite link before the launch of his new BAR-Honda 007 chassis is shown live from Barcelona on the stage's giant screens on Sunday.

The Live Action Arena is, for many, for the highlight of ASI weekend. Supermodel Jodie Kidd will introduce a line-up that includes the public debut of the 520bhp A1 Grand Prix single-seater, plenty of rallying action - including Stig Blomqvist in an Audi Quattro - and some fast and furious displays from top stunt drivers and the stars of Oval Racing.

A relatively recent addition to the show roster is the F1 Racing Grid. The organisers have excelled themselves this year, arranging for genuine cars from all ten F1 teams to be mounted in a wall display at a 90 degree angle - giving ASI visitors a unique perspective on the greatest racing cars on Earth.

Grand Prix racing's muddier cousin - the World Rally Championship - will also be represented in ASI's WRC Zone, where the entire 2004 WRC field can be seen in a mock-up of a typical service park. A glimpse of rallying's future can be seen too, in the form of the concept model of Ford's 2006 WRC challenger.

The centrepiece of the Historic Hall will be a display of Group C machinery, evoking memories of the halcyon days of World Sportscar racing in the 1980s. A Rothmans Porsche 962, as made famous by legendary drivers like Stefan Bellof, Hans Stuck and Derek Bell, will join Jaguar, Aston Martin and Nissan entries in the line-up.

Those who prefer the panel-bashing thrills and spills of saloon car racing to the serene glitz of F1 and sportscars won't be disappointed. Britain's European Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx will be found on the BMW stand, while a special display celebrates six decades of British Touring Car Championship machinery, and series stars Jason Plato and Tom Chilton appear on the Autosport Stage on both days.

Chevrolet's brand new WTCC entry will also make its public debut - appearing in the main hall just a week after its first shakedown tests.

Autosport International is not just about race and rally cars. Some of the most sumptuous road legal machinery on the globe will be on show in the Supercar Paddock, where attractions include a limited edition Ferrari 550 LM, Chevrolet's sixth generation Corvette, the Dodge SRT-10 (the latest development of the famous Viper), the new Porsche 911, the Maserati Grand Sport and the Aston Martin Vanquish S.

With no fewer than ten halls of exhibits, trade stands and live attractions to enjoy, ASI 2005 will more than make up for the tedium of a long, motorsport-free winter. Basic ticket prices are £18 for adults and £10 for children, with combined entry to the show and the Live Action Arena costing £25 for adults or £17.50 concessions. Tickets can be bought via the www.autosportinternational.com website or on the ticket hotline 0870 902 0444.

Anyone unable to make it to the NEC can follow the action live all weekend on , either via the ASI website or on Sky Channel 907. Special highlights packages will be broadcast between 7.30 and 9.30pm each day, while all the news from the NEC can be seen first on autosport.com.

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