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• Autosport International, Europe’s premier pre-season motorsport show, marked its opening day with the launch of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship
• Cars, drivers, co-drivers and team principals from M-Sport Ford, Hyundai Motorsport, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT all present
• Crowds also flocked to see the main Ferrari feature, showcasing Corse Clienti – its exclusive client racing programme
• Elsewhere Ginetta unveiled its LMP1 car and Susie Wolff, Derek Warwick and Gary Paffett appeared on the Autosport Stage
• See all the Autosport Stage interviews live here:
• Autosport International is part of Motorsport Network’s UK title, Autosport – one of the world’s leading print and online motorsport publishers
• Tickets still available:

Autosport International has opened its doors for 2018 – and it’s been a spectacular day of unveils and star-studded interviews already, with the global launch of this year’s World Rally Championship.

Marking the first time a top-tier FIA World Championship has launched at the show in its 27-year history, crowds were treated to unveils of four new 2018 season World Rally Cars: the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing Yaris WRC and Citroën Racing C3 WRC.

Interviews took place with all four team principals, Malcolm Wilson, Michel Nandan, Tommi Mäkinen and Yves Matton respectively. Reigning WRC champion and M-Sport Ford driver, Sébastien Ogier said: “It’s fantastic to launch the new WRC series at Autosport International in front of so many true motorsport enthusiasts. Myself and the rest of the M-Sport team are really looking forward to Rallye Monte-Carlo later this month.”

This year marks a step change for WRC as fans can look forward to watching unprecedented live coverage of the championship under ground-breaking plans to transform the way the series is broadcast, including every special stage from each round shown as it happens on WRC+.

Another major highlight of the 2018 show is Ferrari’s main feature, which was revealed to the public for the first time today. Showcasing the range of cars available through Corse Clienti, Ferrari’s exclusive client racing programme, this centrepiece is a must-see with the star of the stand being Ferrari’s 2017 Ferrari F1 car, named SF70H to mark Scuderia Ferrari’s 70th anniversary.

The car collected five race wins, 20 podiums, five pole positions on its way to scoring a total of 522 points between World Champion drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen in the 2017 season.

The SF70H joins the 2004 championship-winning F2004, 2017 LMGTE Pro World Endurance Championship-winning AF Corse 488 GTE, FXX-K Evo and the 488 Challenge cars.

There were some famous Ferrari faces too, with 2017 World Endurance Championship GTE Pro champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi making an appearance on the Autosport Stage.

Ginetta took the wraps off its LMP1 challenger that will race in the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours this year. Called the G60-LT-P1, it’s Ginetta’s “most advanced car in the company’s history”, producing 650bhp from its 3.4-litre V6 Mecachrome engine and has a maximum speed of 225mph.

Another major launch took place in the shape of Invictus Games Racing. A collaboration between James Holder, Co-Founder of the successful clothing brand Superdry, and the Invictus Games Foundation, it will see a select group of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) veterans of the British Armed Forces compete in the 2018 British GT Championship as part of a new motor racing team in specially-designed Jaguar sports cars.

Holder commissioned Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division to develop and build two bespoke F-TYPE SVR racing cars to GT4 specification for the Invictus Games Racing drivers to compete in. Invictus Games Racing today revealed the vehicles at Autosport International, racers which have been in top secret development for over a year.

It was back-to-back star names over at the Autosport Stage, with appearances from a host of famous faces, including former Williams Martini Racing F1 test driver Susie Wolff. “It’s been two years since we launched the Dare to Be Different campaign here at Autosport International,” she said. “We’re making a real impact inspiring more and more women to get into motorsport and driving equality on and off the track.”

Other star names on the Autosport Stage were former F1 driver Derek Warwick and DTM driver Gary Paffett. Meanwhile, over in the Live Action Arena, Billy Monger is partnering Terry Grant and the Mission Motorsport team performing a series of nail-biting stunts across all four days at Autosport International.

Thanks to a progressive recovery and rehabilitation process, aided by Mission Motorsport, Monger is playing a feature role in a variety of high-octane manoeuvres alongside a team of drivers from Mission Motorsport. Four Jaguar F-Type cars are taking to the arena performing a set of dynamic stunts in front of a packed audience.

And that’s just the start of the four-day event. Over the course of this weekend, visitors to Autosport International will be able to see and hear from the star driver of this year’s show: 1992 F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE who will be opening the show on Saturday 13th January and appearing on the Autosport Stage over the course of the weekend.

Autosport International is part of Motorsport Network’s UK title, Autosport – one of the world’s leading print and online motorsport publishers.

Motorsport Network is the world’s largest independent automotive and motorsport-related digital platform, connecting millions of people who love motorsport and cars. The network also creates key industry events including Autosport International and the annual Autosport Awards.

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