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– Final countdown to the inaugural HMI has begun
– Guest appearances from no fewer than five Le Mans winners
– Cars for sale range from F1 racers to club classics
– Launches, presentations, a conference, auction and so much more…

The starter’s flag is about to be dropped to mark the opening of the inaugural Historic Motorsport International (23-26 February, ExCeL, London). At noon on Thursday, the world’s greatest all-round driver Jacky Ickx will officially declare the show open, allowing visitors to enjoy a feast of historic motorsport.

Among the many attractions will be:

– Scores of competition cars for sale, including an F1 McLaren M23, as raced by Jochen Mass
– Special displays celebrating 50 years of the Ford DFV Grand Prix engine and 50 years of Formula Ford
– F1 cars of the 1990s from FORCE
– Silverstone Classic showcase
– Diverse competition cars on display, including a Jaguar D-type, Bugatti T35, Audi A4 Supertouring, Steve Soper’s race winning BMW M3, Le Mans-winning Jaguar XJR-9, a marathon rally Hillman Hunter, Pat Doran’s Q8 liveried RS200 rallycross icon and a Maserati Birdcage
– Displays from the sport’s leading preparation specialists including Crosthwaite & Gardiner, Nicholson McLaren Engines and Dunlop Motorsport
– A major auction of competition cars from Coys
– The launch of a new Three Hour Classic Relay race
– Presentations from series organisers including Motor Racing Legends and the HSCC
– An Historic Motorsport Conference and public interviews
– Guest appearances from no fewer than five Le Mans winners
– The launch of a new classic single-seat racing trainer from Crosslé

Ickx – a Grand Prix, Can-Am, Paris-Dakar rally and six-times Le Mans winner – is guest of honour at the Capital’s first exhibition devoted to classic motoring racing and rallying. But he’s by no means the only motorsport legend taking part.

He will be joined by no fewer than four other Le Mans victors – Derek Bell, Jürgen Barth, Jackie Oliver and Emanuele Pirro – while other racing heroes making personal appearances include former F1 driver Martin Donnelly and Nick Padmore, the reigning FIA Historic F1 champion.

All will be in conversation at the show’s Supagard Theatre, which will also provide the stage for the two-day Historic Motorsport International Conference Programme. Running on Thursday and Friday, the Conference is hosted by broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost and has gathered several leading names in the sport to discuss topics such as driving standards and safety, opportunities for organisers and promoters, and the landscape of historic rallying. Entrance is free to all show-goers.

Donnelly, who started his motor racing career in Northern Ireland racing a locally-built Crosslé, will also be unveiling a brand new single-seater from the company for use by the Classic Racing School in France. Resembling Crosslé cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the car enhances the original design in terms of safety, environmental impact and reliability without the restrictions of historical authenticity.

As well as the ex-Mass McLaren M23, specialist dealer Hall & Hall will be displaying other iconic F1 machinery including a Matra MS120 and the ex-Tom Pryce Shadow DN3. Show-goers will also be able to savour 50 years of rallycross on the Lydden Hill circuit stand – moreover Lydden is offering visitors a special discounted ticket offer for its three major 2017 events.

The new Three Hour relay race on 30 September at Silverstone is being organised by Equipe GTS for pre-1966 GT and GTS cars up to 3-litres and saloon cars up to 2-litres. Rob Cull of Equipe GTS Partner said: “We aim to recreate the atmosphere of the original clubman racing of the 60s. Equipe GTS cars are of an era where the cars are still affordable and really fun to drive.”

“We are absolutely delighted by the support we have had from the industry, especially considering HMI is in its first year,” said Show Director Ian France. “We have so many iconic cars and genuine motorsport heroes here that visitors will find themselves in a petrol-head heaven. And that’s before they’ve ventured into the London Classic Car Show next door.”

Tickets to Historic Motorsport International includes access to the London Classic Car Show, which is now in its third year and looking to build on the record 33,000 visitors who visited the 2016 event. Both shows are staged by Brand Events, the company behind a raft of successful motoring events including CarFest, Top Gear Live and the recent IGNITION Festival of Motoring.

Historic Motorsport International will open its doors at 12.00pm on Thursday 23 February, while the London Classic Car Show will burst into life at 3pm that afternoon.

Tickets to Historic Motorsport International 2017 are now available from the show website – – and start at £24 for single adult entry (£27 on the door on the day).

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