If you are looking to immerse yourselves into beauty, there may be many better options than to spend a day at Autosport International, or ASI, as it’s well known as. Britain’s answer to more popular shows like SEMA or TAS doesn’t quite have the same scale, the same weirdness or the same clout as its most famous equivalents in the USA or Japan. What it has is a treasure trove of racing teams, racing car manufacturers and suppliers, gelled together by scores of racing drivers, starting from the grassroots all the way to the top level.
It’s another slice of the unique car culture Britain is graced with. You get to talk in a franc and down to earth manner with business owners, car builders, restorers, tuners or drivers. And you get your fix of the incredible fraternity that binds the UK car scene together, in the midst of what can be a very lonely garage season, the time when everyone tinkers with their builds, secluded away from the competitors.
Alfas were not out in force, but what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in variety. From the majestic 1968 GTAm replica at Silverstone Auctions to the grassroots 147 and everything in between, the Milanese dragons added a bit of Latin class to the armies of purposeful Fords and racing machinery. It was great to also see a tuned Giulia, I really hope that the rear wheel drive cars will bring one day Alfa into some forms of motorsport it missed out on so far. Yes, I am thinking of drifting. The thought of a tire smoke engulfed Alfa dicing with the Supras makes me weak at the knees.
ASI is the event that, in many ways sets up the year for grassroots racing. It also provides a peak inside some of the builds happening behind closed doors during the cold months. We’ll be trying to unlock some of those treasures in the months to come. And the fraternity spirit that ASI cultivates will make every builder spend the cold, long hours with a spanner in their hands a little easier, as their hearts would be filled to the brink with the warm and fuzzy anticipations of the races to come.