MUST-SEE EVENTS OF 2017
THE VOICE OF BRITISH MOTORSPORT THE MEETINGS YOU MUST PUT IN YOUR DIARY
When: January 12-15, 2017 Where: The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Web: autosportinternational.com The traditional curtain-raiser, the Autosport International Show is where the season ahead starts to crystalise in the mind.
After a winter spent wondering what the following new year is going to bring, walking around the show halls at the National Exhibition Centre brings the prospects into sharp focus.
Alongside the Autosport stage interviews, where the biggest names in the sport get a grilling from host Henry Hope-frost, there are featured displays looking at the best from F1, the World Rally Championship and the British Touring Car Championship. You can rub shoulders with fans and stars alike over the four days.
There is also the revamped Live Action Arena, plus a huge display from the Williams Martini Racing team to enjoy.
Several leading national racing teams have announcements to make at the show, so it is worth making sure you investigate every single corner of the event.
There will be the traditional engineering display on the trade days, which are restricted to Thursday and Friday, while the Short Oval Show is back with two days of displays on Saturday and Sunday.
When: June 17/18 Where: Silverstone, Northamptonshire Web: mgcc.co.uk/mglive MG Live! is a lot more than just an ordinary club racing event. Instead it’s like a much smaller version of the Silverstone Classic but focused – rather unsurprisingly – on MGS.
The MG Car Club’s headline event at the Northamptonshire track features a full racing programme at its heart. And it is often literally a full programme, with some grids featuring in excess of 50 cars. All of the club’s championships from more modern series like the MG Trophy to much older ones like the BCV8 Championship ( below) take part, along with a few guest categories too. With the full Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit used, something that few club meetings at the venue can boast, the racing is often close.
But while the racing takes centre stage, there are a host of off-track events. The meeting is described as the world’s largest MG event and there are trade stands and driving displays, as well as plenty of MGS from across the company’s history and even a snazzy lifestyle marquee.
So, take your family and enjoy an event that is often a little off the radar, but hugely entertaining for all.
When: July 16 Where: Silverstone, Northampton Web: silverstone.co.uk The Silverstone experience has been revolutionised over the last few years. With the major alterations to the circuit in 2010, there are even more chances to watch the world’s best drivers at one of the globe’s truly classic tracks.
Anyone who hasn’t been to the British Grand Prix for a few years will notice a difference. It is not now, as Bernie Ecclestone once described it, a “country fair masquerading as a world-class event”. The Silverstone experience is vastly improved.
There are no long queues to get in (if you turn up early enough) and there are plenty of spots to pull up your deckchairs. Big screens and an excellent radio service for the commentary means you can keep right up to speed throughout the big race.
While the cheers will resound every time Lewis Hamilton passes your given vantage point, one of the great things about the British public is its knowledge of the sport and appreciation of any driver doing a good job.
When: September 16 Where: Foxhall Heath, Ipswich Web: spedeworth.co.uk If you have never seen BRISCA F1 Stock Cars, be prepared for the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.
And the World Final meeting is the big one of the year. It is the one that they all want to win, and it is the one where legends are made.
This year’s event will take place on Tarmac at Ipswich, which will make it a truly memorable event. Stock cars are used to racing primarily on shale, but for the sheer speed and brutality of them, the Tarmac surface will help put on a stunning show.
A quarter-mile track full of the ground-shaking 700bhp V8 monsters should be enough to excite any fan – particularly as the formula is a contact one, so passing can be spectacular.
The World Final event itself is an extravaganza. The whole day is centred on the big race itself, with the qualified drivers behind presented beforehand. The pressure cooker atmosphere is ramped up to top notch before the flag drops.
If you only go to one short oval event in 2017, make it this one.
Grids are packed at MG Live! with the MG Trophy a star series
Lewis Hamilton is home favourite, but all drivers get recognition from the great British GP fanbase
BRISCA World Final is a flat-out thrash