MUST-SEE EVENTS OF 2017

THE VOICE OF BRI­TISH MOTORSPORT THE MEET­INGS YOU MUST PUT IN YOUR DI­ARY

Motor Sport News - - Front Page - Matt James Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

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

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