The 23rd annual Autosport International showpiece is set to return to the Birmingham NEC in January, with the event set to wow performance vehicle fans from across the UK.

It is being held from the 10th to 13th and will place a spotlight on all the most popular forms of racing – from karting to Formula One – helping to bring all aspects of motorsport under one roof in an annual showcase that is sure to entertain.

Kicking off 2013 in style, Autosport International will see exhibitors from across the globe head to the Midlands to showcase their latest designs and innovations in the world of motorsport.

Split into two unique events, the first phase of the show will be open solely to those in the automotive trade – January 10th and 11th – while the reminder of the run will see the doors flung wide open to the public, with an array of top attractions to whet their appetites for the myriad motorsport events that are set to be held next year.

Sir Jackie Stewart will be in attendance as the organisers provide a showcase of the Formula One legends' very own automotive history.

The exhibit will also include the three Formula One cars he drove to championship success in 1969, 1971 and 1973; the Matra MS80, Tyrrell 003 and Tyrrell 006.

Other famous names that have received the Autosport International honour in the past include Ayrton Senna (2012), sportscar manufacturer and Formula One mainstay McLaren (2011) and British racing hero David Coulthard (2009).

Other highlights of the upcoming show will include appearances by a range of famous faces, such as Formula One ace Paul DiResta, BBC F1 anchor Jake Humphries and 2012 FIA Touring cars champion Rob Huff, as well as Le Mans 24 race winners Derek Bell and Allan McNish.

Performance Direct will be exhibiting in Hall 19 at stand 19320, where attendees will be able to catch a glimpse of a classic Ferrari 458 and Oakley Design LP760-4 Dragon Edition.

Meanwhile, fans of Formula One are in for a real treat, with many of the biggest names in the sport heading to Autosport International 2013 to take part in the F1 Racing Grid.

Illustrious members of this annual showcase are set to include McLaren, F1 Lotus (Caterham), Red Bull, Lotus Renault, Mercedes, Williams and Force India.

Visitors will have the chance to catch a glimpse of the stunning and technologically-brilliant race cars that took part in the 2012 Formula One Championship, while those lucky individuals with Paddock and VIP passes will be able to take part in autograph sessions with many of their Formula One heroes, both past and present.

If all that excitement is not enough, guests will also have the chance to do some racing of their own at the Karting Area located in Hall 4. Races will take place throughout the weekend and visitors are invited to sign up and pit their skills against one another on this bespoke and exciting indoor circuit.

Hall 20 at the event will also provide a chance for classic racing enthusiasts to purchase a piece of racing history, with Coys holding its annual auction on Saturday (January 12th).

Confirmed lots that are to be sold on the day include a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster, 1986 Austin Metro 6R4, 1967 Triumph TR4 and 1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster.

Those hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the rarest classic race cars in history might also be tempted to head along to the upcoming Race Retro & Classic Car Sale that is to take place on February 23rd.

It will see a 1969 Lola T70 MkIII B go under the hammer in what is expected to be a frenetic sale, with the model's owners hoping to achieve a price tag between an incredible £570,000 and £650,000.

If you're looking for cover for a sports, performance or prestige vehicle, speak to the car insurance team at Performance Direct – one of the UK's leading specialist insurers.

Posted by Mark Thompson

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