The motorsport season got the green light at Autosport International in more ways than one on the show's opening day at the NEC in Birmingham. In the face of the poor weather and the current economic climate, many exhibitors reported an "optimistic" feeling, and a "positive vibe" as the halls filled.

"I think people have made a lot of effort with their stands; I know we certainly did," said Robin Evans, UK Sales Executive for K & N Filers Europe. "I was worried that the weather would put people off coming, but I was amazed by the number of people here first thing this morning."

Skelta Sports Cars made the long trip from Australia to Birmingham for the European debut of its flagship V8 Spyder, and already, after just one day, the long haul has been worth it. "It's a significant investment for us to come here," said Guy Beddington, Export Development Manager. "But we feel that Autosport International is where we will get the best exposure. The response to the Spyder has been terrific, much more than we'd hoped for, and not just for sales leads, but people who want to use it in displays or for track days."

Autosport International, Europe's largest motorsport trade show, kicked off with the launch of Radical's innovative and environmentally-friendly SRZero, the company's first electric car. Porsche also showed its 911 GT3 R racer for the first time. The car, designed to FIA GT 3 regulations, is sure to further Porsche's illustrious sportscar history. But the story of the day was that everyone was looking forward not only to tomorrow but to 2010.

"There was definitely a strong feeling of optimism in the halls today," said Autosport International Show Director Ian France. "There were a lot of exhibitors that overcame very difficult circumstances to be here, and some cars only arrived at the show after 7am this morning. The quality of the stands is very impressive, and overall it was an extremely busy and positive day."

-source: autosport international