Autosport International 2013

Students from the IMIAL Level 2 & 3 courses have recently returned from their annual study tour to the Autosport International which is held at the NEC, Birmingham.

By Tom Kitchen

Autosport 2012 was an amazing experience! This is a motorsports show which takes place every January at the NEC, which covers a wide range of the Motor Sport industry trade & educational side of the industry. There were four main halls with a range of stalls such as College/University recruitment stands, a Demon Tweeks stall, food stalls, Drag Racers, Rally cars, Go karting, and of course the whole Formula 1 grid from 2012.

IMI Level Students visiting the Bloodhound 1,000 MPH land speed record project

There was also a whole hall dedicated to the engineering industry behind trading stalls. This included high tech CNC lathes and milling machines and the amazing 3D printer where drawings are brought to life as 3 dimensional solid objects, where the moving parts worked as well.

The live action arena at Autosport International was amazing! They had Go Karting for £5 for all guests. If you went you also had the chance to go drifting with a professional driver in a Caterham car for the low price of £10 for about 3-4 minutes.

The live action show was on for about 45 minutes and it was included in the entry cost for the students. When you were inside the show you get to see Super Moto Quad Racing , the FMX Freestyle UK Team, Jap Speed Drift Team, Auto Grass class 8, Autosport best of British cars, Terry Grant, and finally an appearance from the McLaren young drivers team.


By Jason Hill

The Maxxis stand

When we had finished looking around the show and watching the stunts in the live arena I realised I had learnt a lot about vehicles and how they are modified for Motorsport use. Lots of the stalls had examples of their modified suspension and brake systems as well as some very expensive looking wheels and tyre sets.

The opportunity to discuss HE course with the Universities that offer courses in Motorsport engineering was really exciting.

Many of us will no doubt return next year just to see all the amazing cars and collect all the freebees that all the stands give out, my personal favourite? The signed calendars from the Maxxis Girls…

Best car of the day? It would have to be the amazing Nissan Deltawing, a motorsport revolution in the making?




Four very lucky students were given the opportunity to visit the famous Silverstone F1 Motor Racing Circuit this week courtesy of Pistonheads Sunday Service. Pistonheads invite their website members to specialist motor vehicle events on a monthly basis and call them their Sunday Service. Entry is free to the lucky people that sign up. This Sunday 700 people were allowed access to the Ferrari Clienti Programme.

The Ferrari Clienti programme is for multi millionaires who purchase special cars from Ferrari that are not available to the general public, only to their most exclusive customers. Cars such as the F1 world champion Michael Schumacher’s & Kimi Raikkonen’s F1 cars and the 599XX and the Enzo based FXX.

Members of the clienti programme do not take their cars home with them. Ferrari transports them to the most exclusive racetracks in the world for them to use and then take them back to Modena again at the end of the weekend.

Normally the only people allowed access to the event are those people invited by the Ferrari factory or those being wooed by the Ferrari dealers.

The students were treated to a spectacular day of Ferrari events. Including a parade that attempted to amass the largest number of Ferrari’s in one place, a total of 1,087 were paraded along the circuit.  

F1 cars were raced around the circuit at breakneck speeds to a cacophony of high revving noise by the super rich while the students took the opportunity to try on the latest Ferrari’s, including the 458 Italia Spider for size.

Autosport International – The Racing Car Show

Friday the 13th, a day that conjures up thoughts of dread and fear in many a person. But for the Motor Vehicle students of Reaseheath it was a day to look forward to. Our annual pilgrimage to the NEC for the Autosport show was finally going to be underway.

Whether you are into Rally cars or Formula 1, it’s all there. The stars are on hand for autographs and presentations. Grand unveilings of new Grand Prix cars and Rally giants, the live action arena with pit girls parading to distract you from the thrills and spills of the on track action.

If you’re into modifying cars then this is the place to see what everyone has to offer. Engine parts, suspension parts, trick brakes or gearboxes, you name it, it’s here. From modern supercars to multimillion pound classics for auction you cannot fail to find something that stirs you. Universities from all around the country pedal their HE courses for those that wish to train to higher levels. Race circuits, race organisers and manufacturers are here promoting all the support they give to motor racing.

Some of the students managed to challenge the staff to some remote control car racing, the result? Instructor, Graeme Smith won by over a lap.

If none of that is to your fancy you can always try and improve your functional skills communication, looks like these guys listened plenty in that lesson.

This is the third trip the students have been on this year and they have really done the college proud on each occasion. Planning for trip number four is well under way.

Wales Rally GB

21 students and 3 staff left Reaseheath at 6:30am last Friday for the World Rally Championships final round, being held in North Wales.  Arriving at the Dyfnant Forest stage near Lake Vyrnwy in the morning mist was a precursor to an action packed day.

As we arrived early we chose to start the day with bacon butties for all, cooked on the trusty Student Services BBQ. This gave us all a hearty start to a 2 ½ mile walk along the route of the race to a tight and twisty section where we watched the morning action. Several students later chose a slightly higher vantage point as stones thrown up by the passing cars threatened expensive dental work.

After the WRC cars passed through we all walked a mile back towards the minibuses as the fog came down. For the National Rally we stood along a very high speed gravel section and watched everything from brand new Evo’s to 1970’s Ford Escort RS2000’s. We were all amazed to see some fantastically spirited driving of these older machines and many were faster through the stage than modern rally cars with 4 wheel drive.

Lunch time saw a return to the minibuses for a headcount and more BBQ food. At 3:30 we all headed back to the track and watched the WRC cars come through for a second time as the rain came and darkness fell. The highlight of the day was watching World Champion, Sebastian Loeb literally fly through the stage at impossible speed at the head of the field with headlights blazing.

All the students set an exemplary example for behaviour and we are all looking forward to better weather for our return trip next year!