Motorsport with Attitude Press Day, 11th May 2018

A motor show dedicated to promoting oval racing in its many forms, be it Stock Cars, Speedway, Autograss, Rallycross or Pick Ups to name but a few is an ideal way to kick-start a new season. Make it a weekend event with a party on the Saturday night and what’s not to like?

Shows aimed at the oval racing fraternity have been tried before – some of you may have attended the one held at Brentwood some years ago – but Motorsport with Attitude, as envisaged by the man behind the idea, Dave Rennie, proposes to have more than 500 cars on display, not just shiny new race cars but “the biggest, the smallest, the fastest… the not quite so fast. The oldest, the newest, the brightest, the dullest and the ugliest cars ever built”.

The venue chosen for this unique event is the East of England Arena, Peterborough and the dates – February 16/17 2019. The Motorsport with Attitude organizing team held a press day on Friday 11 May at the EOE Arena and I was lucky enough to be allowed to go along to see for myself what was planned for the show. It was an odd feeling to arrive at the showground on a Friday morning and find stock cars and saloons lined up, pits-style, in the main car park, even odder to realise that the former Alwalton stock car track lies underneath this very car park.

Photo shoot outside of the main arena buildings

Nigel Harrhy (45), Paul Hines (259), Paul Hopkins (278) and Mark Sargent (326) had brought their F1s along to the presentation and Nige was one of the key players in making sure everything went to plan. Drivers and teams continued to arrive in the run-up to launch time (or lunch time in my case) with modern and classic superstox, micro F2, stock rods, classic saloons, autograss, F2 and F2 heritage cars and V8 hot stox swelling the pit area until, by my reckoning we had between 50 and 60 cars in attendance   – a fantastic turn out and much appreciated by Dave and his team.

Nigel Harrhy (45) and Paul Hines (259) posing with their cars

Competition cars were arranged for a photo shoot outside of the main arena buildings and made an impressive sight. Following this, Dean Rees, Business Development manager for the Arena, kindly gave a conducted tour of the showground facilities, taking us into the various halls where the show would be held, the catering facilities and the suite where the Party Night will take place.

A Live Action Arena, similar to the Autosport Show at the NEC, is planned and the EOE Arena has the advantage of a purpose-built shale track located within the showground with a 2000 seat grandstand – this is of course the home track for the Peterborough Panthers speedway team. As Nige quite rightly pointed out the weather in February may rule out any use of the speedway track for demonstration races but an alternative hard surface oval is planned on the concrete at the rear of the main hall.

The main Arena Hall at the East of England Showground.

For any fans planning to stay for the whole weekend in February there are three hotels within a short walking distance of the Arena. Some hotels are “recommended partners” and if you book with these through the Arena you can get a 10% discount on your rooms. If you are travelling to the venue by train you can get a 30% discount with Virgin Trains, again in partnership with the EOE Arena.

Keep a look out for the upcoming Motorsport with Attitude website before you make any firm bookings though as things, as we all know can change over time. Public restaurants will be open during the show days along with food concession outlets and licensed bars. Nige has lined up a live band for the Saturday night party which it is anticipated will go on into the early hours. There will be an additional entry fee for the party to pay for the band and disco.

Was it a tilter before Jake leant on it?

A number of drivers (no F1s sadly) stayed on into the Friday Press Day evening to do a parade lap on the shale track during the interval of the Peterborough v Workington speedway match. Micro F2 exponent Freddie Holden (38) led the parade which included Guy Jolly (V8 222), F2 drivers Ollie Skeels (124), Henry King (78), Richard Clubley (665), Richard Smith (428) and Andrew Palmer (606) along with stock rods and a 1300 saloon. After the speedway match Panthers captain Scott Nicholls squeezed himself into the 606 car and described it as “snug”!

Peterborough Speedway Stadium – a shale track on site!

Dave Rennie and team are to be congratulated on organising, by all accounts, a very successful press day and may just be wondering what a task they have set themselves to get everything in place for next February. This is a show to promote all forms of oval racing to a wider audience with virtually no constraints on the number of cars – show or visitors – that can be welcomed, subject to the usual health and safety regulations.

Put the dates in your diary or mobile device – 16 & 17 February 2019. Motorsport with Attitude and keep a look out for their upcoming website for future updates.

Words: Mick Jenkins
Photos: Ant and Mick Jenkins

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