Damon Hill to open Autosport International

DAMON HILL TO OPEN AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL Damon Hill, the President of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), will officially open Autosport International 2007 at the NEC Birmingham on the first Press and Trade day of the show, Thursday ...

DAMON HILL TO OPEN AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL

Damon Hill, the President of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC), will officially open Autosport International 2007 at the NEC Birmingham on the first Press and Trade day of the show, Thursday 11 January. Damon, Britain's last Formula One World Champion, took over from Jackie Stewart as President of the BRDC in 2006 following an eight-year Formula One career that netted him the coveted World Championship crown in 1996.

In his capacity as BRDC President, Damon will attend the show with Chairman Stuart Rolt and Club Secretary Stuart Pringle. Following the official opening at 10.00am, Damon will be interviewed on the Autosport Central Stage, fuelled by BP Ultimate, by F1 Racing magazine's Editor in Chief Matt Bishop. He will then take part in a walk around the World's biggest motorsport show including a visit to BRDC Stars of Tomorrow in the Karting Area and a tour of the Karts to Cars feature.

BRDC Stars of Tomorrow is the leading national karting series, which incorporates the MSA British Cadet Championship, and boasts five classes catering for nine to 16-year-olds, with one senior class, totalling over 155 competitors. The series has produced many champions, including Lewis Hamilton, Anthony Davidson, Gary Paffett, Paul Di Resta and McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Oliver Turvey, to name but a few.

Damon will see the next generation of motorsport champions represented at Autosport International's Karts to Cars feature, which highlights both single seater and saloon car racing and how karters can graduate through the ranks to the highest echelons.

At the Karts to Cars feature, Damon will meet BRDC Rising Star Martin Plowman (Tamworth) and BRDC Scholarship driver Graham Carroll (East Lothian), both BRDC Stars of Tomorrow graduates. Plowman, 19, is a former British and Asia Pacific Kart Champion who contested his first year in single seaters in 2006. A member of the Toyota Young Driver Programme, Plowman finished fifth in Formula Renault Italia and clinched his first podium finish.

A former Scottish Kart Champion, Graham Carroll, 16, was awarded the BRDC Scholarship to race in the Playstation Ginetta Championship in 2006 after finishing in the top six of the Junior Rotax class and being selected by the Scholarship judging committee. An impressive maiden season even saw Carroll take victory in his third ever race at Croix in France.

Alongside Plowman's European Formula Renault car and Carroll's Ginetta BRDC Scholarship car will be fellow BRDC Stars of Tomorrow graduates Bradley Ellis' Team RPM Porsche 996; Craig Dolby's 2006 championship-winning Formula Renault Junior; and a Ginetta G20 championship car presented in the legendary Will Hoy's helmet colours representing the Will Hoy Scholarship. The centrepiece of the feature will be the 2006 McLaren Mercedes, presented alongside a replica of Lewis Hamilton's MSA Cadet Championship winning kart.

The Silverstone-based British Racing Drivers' Club was founded in 1928, with just twenty-five members and a clear set of objectives. These were to promote the interests of motorsport generally; to celebrate any specific performance in motorsport; to extend hospitality to racing drivers from overseas; and to further the interests of British drivers competing abroad.

Avoid the queues on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 January and book online at www.autosport-international.com or by phoning the ticket hotline on 0870 380 2244. Tickets are £26.00 per adult including entry to the Live Action Arena children's (5 -- 15 years) tickets are £18.50.

-credit: autosport.international@haynet.com

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About this article
Series Automotive , Formula 1
Drivers Anthony Davidson , Jackie Stewart , Lewis Hamilton , Damon Hill , Gary Paffett , Will Hoy , Bradley Ellis , Oliver Turvey , Graham Carroll