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Countdown to inaugural HMI begins

21 February 2017

The green flag is about to drop on the opening of the inaugural Historic Motorsport International (HMI) show, taking place between 23 and 26 February at London ExCeL.

At noon this Thursday, one of the world’s greatest drivers Jacky Ickx will officially declare the show open, allowing visitors to enjoy a feast of historic motorsport.

Ickx – a Grand Prix, Can-Am, Paris-Dakar rally and six-times Le Mans winner – is to be guest of honour at the Capital’s first exhibition devoted to classic motoring racing and rallying.

He will be joined by no fewer than four other Le Mans victors – Derek Bell, Jürgen Barth, Jackie Oliver and Emanuele Pirro – while  racing heroes including former F1 driver Martin Donnelly and Nick Padmore, the reigning FIA Historic F1 champion, will also make an appearance.

The drivers are to engage in discussion at the Supagard Theatre, which will also provide the stage for the two-day Historic Motorsport International Conference Programme.

Running on Thursday and Friday, the Conference is hosted by broadcaster Henry Hope-Frost and has gathered several leading names in the sport to discuss topics such as driving standards and safety, opportunities for organisers and promoters, and the landscape of historic rallying. Entrance is free to all show-goers.

Donnelly, who started his motor racing career in Northern Ireland racing a locally-built Crosslé, will also be unveiling a brand new single-seater from the company for use by the Classic Racing School in France. Resembling Crosslé cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s, the car enhances the original design in terms of safety, environmental impact and reliability without the restrictions of historical authenticity.

As well as the ex-Mass McLaren M23, specialist dealer Hall & Hall will be displaying other iconic F1 machinery including a Matra MS120 and the ex-Tom Pryce Shadow DN3. Show-goers will also be able to savour 50 years of rallycross on the Lydden Hill circuit stand – moreover Lydden is offering visitors a special discounted ticket offer for its three major 2017 events.

The new Three-Hour relay race taking place on 30 September at Silverstone is being organised by Equipe GTS for pre-1966 GT and GTS cars up to 3-litres and saloon cars up to 2-litres. Rob Cull of Equipe GTS Partner said: “We aim to recreate the atmosphere of the original clubman racing of the 60s. Equipe GTS cars are of an era where the cars are still affordable and really fun to drive.”

Ian France, show director, added: “We are absolutely delighted by the support we have received from the industry, especially considering HMI is in its first year.

“We have so many iconic cars and genuine motorsport heroes here that visitors will find themselves in a petrol-head heaven. And that’s before they’ve ventured into the London Classic Car Show next door.”

Tickets to Historic Motorsport International include access to the London Classic Car Show, which is now in its third year and looking to build on the record 33,000 visitors of 2016.

Historic Motorsport International will open its doors at 12.00 pm on Thursday 23 February.

1930 Bugatti T35B
Historic Formula Ford Championship. Credit: Charlie Wooding
Pat Doran's iconic RS200
The ex-Steve Soper 1991 BMW M3

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