Autosport Show news

Friday, January 12, 2018

Tomorrow sees the opening to the general public of the Autosport Show for 2018 from the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Having been fortunate to catch a look around the show yesterday, we have to say that we were somewhat disappointed overall with the level of Aston Martin Racing and customer team interaction this time compared to previous shows with just three GT4 cars on display, although that didn't really detract from the spectacle of the show overall as it was otherwise heavily sportscar orientated.

We had hoped from the guys at Prodrive that a show car variant (at least) of the 2017 Le Mans 24hr winning #97 AMR Vantage GTE car would be there - it wasn't (at least not on Thursday) but then drivers Darren Turner and Jonny Adam (together with Ross Gunn) will be on hand over the weekend for both interview and driving demonstrations in the Live Arena with the new Aston Martin Vantage.

A short straw for them possibly as their WEC colleagues enjoyed the first test of the year from Abu Dhabi against the likes of Porsche and Ford who are also testing there!

We had a couple of great chats with some from both MacMillan Racing and Generation AMR. Unfortunately for all, the earlier news of MacMillan being forced to take a sabbatical this year are true and we were told not to expect to see either of their cars out on track in the short to medium term with the term 'regrouping' being actively used.

The chat went on to raise the potential of seeing the teams cars out in series outside of Europe which would be really exciting for all if those deals were to come off but for now, they remain a distant ambition for the team. Team drivers from 2017, Jan Jonck and Jack Mitchell were also on hand, with us being told that the possibility of seeing either or both of those two out racing in the UK in 2018 still a real possibility with someone TBA'd

With much of the limelight of Thursday firmly (and rightly) upon the new Invictus Games Racing British GT GT4 entries, bankrolled by James Holder and supported by the David Appleby Engineering team (all of whom deserve huge congratulations for all that has already been achieved and for what they can achieve in the future) we understand from team boss James Appleby that both James Holder and Matt George shall be returning to the European GT4 Series aboard their SuperRacing Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 for 'pre selected' rounds from both series as well as the AMR Festival at Le Mans later in June.

The reduced commitment within their Vantage GT4 is simple down to the time needed to invest in their new Jaguar GT4 British GT commitments with Invictus Games Racing with George being named as one of the cars pro drivers.

Today, we heard that Chris Murphy has confirmed his return to the GT Cup Championship aboard one of his V8 Vantage GT4's. Having posted a link to his recent advert HERE for interest into both the GT Cup and Britcar championships in 2018 we hope that this news will start him and his Whitebridge Motorsport team off on what will be a busy year of competitive racing.

Also on display was the green and lime liveried AMR V8 Vantage GT4 belonging to Australian racer Mal Sandford. Having had the car first imported into Australia by Miedecke Stone Motorsport before moving to Portugal, the R-Motorsport client gentleman driver saw out the 2017 season with the 'into the night' Britcar finale from Silverstone with the EDF Motorsport team.

Placards upon the car showed that the team could well be looking to re-enter that national GT championship this year and we certainly wouldn't be surprised if the car also made it to Le Mans for the AMR Festival.

With both TF Sport V12 Vantage GT3's currently under winter rebuild we grabbed a quick laugh and a joke with their departing team Pro driver Jonny Adam. He said that his testing duties with his new Optimum team would start as early as the end of the month although he did say that he didn't expect the team to attend the TeamAMR family test later in March. Also asking whether or not Derek Johnston or Mark Farmer were prepared for the arrival of the two Danes (and their antics) ahead of the start of this years British GT Championship he simply shrugged his shoulders and said "I've warned them"!

One little tip from the show is that should you want top get your hands on any Team AMR apparel of 2017, there is a stand selling almost the entire range at nearly half price! - £100 for an adult waterproof instead of £190 and a Gillet for £65 instead of £105. Its somewhere near the Travel Destinations stand on the main entrance/exit side of the hall.

That of course raises of the question of whether there is going to be another new range released for 2018 in the new factory colours?

Have a great show if you are going.

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