The Autosport International 2018 saw the official launch of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship with M-Sport Ford, Hyundai, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Citroen all in attendance to show off their championship contenders. 2018 marks a massive change for the WRC with plans to transform the way the series is broadcast around the world. WRC+ will feature every stage of the championship broadcast live around the world.
The main Ferrari stand was an additional highlight of the show, showcasing the range of cars available through Ferrari’s exclusive customer racing programme Corse Clienti. The centre piece of the stand of course was the 2017 Ferrari F1 car, the SF70H, named in honour of Ferrari’s 70th anniversary in 2017. The SF70H recorded 20 podiums in 2017, five race wins, five pole positions and 522 points splits between Sebastien Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. The SF70H was joined on the stand by the F2004, the 2017 LMGTE Pro WEC winning AF Corse 488GTe, the FXX-K Evo and the 488 Challenge.
Ginetta unveiled the their 2018 WEC LMP1 challenge, the Ginetta G60-LT-P1. The car has a 3.4 litre Mecachrome V6 developing 650bhp and a top speed of 225mph.
James Holder, Co-Founder of Superdry and the Invictus Games Foundation took the wraps of the new Jaguar F Type SVR GT4. A team of wounded, injured and sick veterans of the British Armed Forces will compete in the car in the 2018 British GT Championship. Holder commissioned the Special Vehicle Operations within Jaguar two design and build two of the cars which are specially adapted for injured drivers.
In the Live Action Arena, Billy Monger had teamed up with Terry Grant and Mission Motorsport. Thanks to a very swift recovery and rehabilitation, Monger was a key part of the demonstration that saw four Jaguar F-Types sliding around the arena. It is an incredible performance from the young driver who was injured in a horrifying incident at Donington Park last April. Monger has always been determined to get back into a car since losing both his legs and has worked extremely hard to get back behind the wheel.
Talking about his plans for 2018 and Mission Motorsport, Billy said:
"I'd like to throw my hands at everything, I just need to get some budget together and get some sponsors, which is the same position all drivers find themselves in. Hopefully in April I'll be back in the car and showing people what I can do. The Mission Motorsport team are incredible. You learn so much from them, a lot of people there share the same injuries, which most people I know don't have."
Speaking about his Live Action Arena co-star, Terry Grant, commented: "Last Thursday, so one week and one day ago, was the first time he got in the Jaguar that he's driving in the Live Action Arena. It was the first time of driving a supercharged V8 with nearly 600 horsepower and after two minutes, he had it sideways, he could throttle brake and trail brake. After 25 minutes, we had all of his hand controls ripped out and he was driving that car how you and I would drive the car, with his foot."
Mission Motorsport is a charity run by veterans, serving officers and motorsport professionals. It exists to aid the recovery of those affected by military operations, by providing opportunities through Motorsport, that offer training, direct vocational support and assistance using the mantra - 'Race, Retrain, Recover'.
The show also featured demonstrations from a number of motorsport disciplines including Nascar, Drifting and Rally Cross. The Autograss and Brisca F1 cars also made their traditional appearance with Sky F1 Commentator David Croft presenting the action alongside VLogger Shmee150.