Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th of January 2013 saw the Motorsport season kick off with one of the biggest events in the industry seeing 52,600 visitors and £800 million worth of business completed at Birmingham’s NEC.
It is an opportunity for drivers to secure funding, parts, make new contacts and touch base with friends not seen for a couple of months; which is exactly what I did. The event started on the Thursday morning with the BRSCC - the British Racing and Sports Car Club - of which Derek Bell MBE is a Vice President. The BRSCC run the Porsche Championship that I race in and it was great to see everyone including meeting some Clerks [of the Course] which hopefully I will not need to see again because that would mean a telling off after some naughty driving! Other people that I bumped in to were the Michelin team, which is always brilliant especially having referred to them before as my ‘best friends’.
The show facilitated the formation of new relationships as well including Corbeau Seats who are supporting me for 2013. Their stand was a user-friendly display of their best and affordable seats so that you can try them out for size. Their fitting service ensures you are comfortable in yours, which is essential so that you can just concentrate on the driving.
Lifeline are providing my roll cage padding, quick release steering boss and fire extinguisher system, which is are essential safety features of any race car. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, taking the time to explain the various different types you can buy and go in to as much detail as any driver would appreciate.
Another company that went in to great detail about safety was Custom Cages who are the leading producer of Motorsport roll cages. They have made cages for a variety of cars ranging from classic Ferrari’s to Rally monsters!
The BWRDC (British Women Racing Drivers' Club) invited me to become a member and I am very much looking forward to attending some events with them.
ASI also sees magazines attend the show, some with stands and some with journalists walking round seeking interview opportunities. I managed to catch up with Practical Performance Car who featured me this month as well as do an interview with Motorsport News, Downforce UK and a short piece to camera with Overdrive Productions.
On top of all that talking was also the Live Action Arena, hosted by Louise Goodman and Paul Musselle. This spectacular live performance included stunt driving by Terry Grant, a monster truck doing doughnuts, Shane Lynch is his drift car and my beloved Boxsters. Correct, my fellow competitors showed off their skills on the slippery surface much to the crowds delight. Thousands of people lapping up the tyre smoke!
After four long days, lots of chatting and walking around the show it was time to leave. It also meant it was time to check out of my hotel that had been home since the Wednesday night. It also meant it was back to reality because Monday morning welcomed me with boot sizes for a Kia Cee’d – ironically Top Gear’s ‘reasonably priced car’, that was certainly a crash down after being surrounded by race cars!