Centre Stage

21.01.14 111 (640x427) Grassers shine on the stand and in the arena.

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The 2014 show featured a large Autograss presence, the central focus of which was Craig Kampschulte's sensational new Fiat Seicento bodied class seven, built by John Gay at XCWorx, and powered by a Chevrolet LS3 V8. That the car was sold almost immediately after the weekend mattered little; it was exciting to see the amount of attention the car, and the other beautifully turned out machinery on show, received; and at a time when the profile of Autograss is on the ascension.
Thanks to great coverage of the Scarborough Dash for Cash on Motors TV last season, and a hugely successful demonstration run at Coventry in support of the BriSCA F1 Stock Cars, Autograss immediately had a heightened awareness and the appreciation of a wider audience. The presentation put together by Nathan Harwood for the presentation evening last November was played continually on the NASA/BAS stand, and the amount of visitors watching the footage was encouraging. It was also unsurprising to learn that many people were overheard praising the performances of those invited to star in the Live Action arena; the nature of the rear wheel drive machinery - classes seven, nine and ten, with a one off appearance from the junior specials - inevitably lending itself to spectacular sideways action, along with a number of wheelies.
It was also announced on Saturday that Autosport International will be sponsoring the Men's Nationals event in August. The Ladies event has attracted the same sponsorship previously, but the renewal of this for the first of the two prestigious events in 2014 sent out a positive message for the sport at the show, underlining the fact that this will almost certainly be another great year for Autograss.
The 2013 BAS season, from a spectators, organisers and drivers point of view, was one of the best for a number of seasons, and was helped by the concurrent running of the UK Championship. With what NASA Director Simon Bentley described as, "The best venues we've had for years," the 2014 BAS has the potential to be another classic, building on the solid foundations laid down by the rejuvenation of last year's season, and the two Nationals events should be quality attractions run by two experienced clubs, with the bonus of a Wednesday evening meeting too, to hark back with a nod of nostalgia to days of old.