With the 2008 Formula One grand prix season over, teams are busy evaluating options for their 2009 driver line-ups. As ever, many teams will be looking to the junior formulas, for up-and-coming talent. This year, one young British driver proved his worth, finishing second in the DTM German touring car championship, and is currently within touching distance of a Formula One drive. His name? Paul di Resta, now confirmed as appearing at Autosport International.
Rising star di Resta is one of the hottest UK racing talents; one of many drivers appearing at the show, held on 8-11 January at the NEC, Birmingham. The West Lothian driver won the prestigious F3 Euroseries in 2006, and came within only four points of the DTM title this year. Racing runs deep in the family; his cousin is former Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, and his father Louis is a multiple Scottish Formula Ford title winner.
“Autosport International is important to me as it’s where I can meet everyone before the new season,” said di Resta. “Motorsport is a small world, so it’s a chance to show my face and meet fans and friends. It’s also the place to find out what’s new in the sport.”
Despite the move from DTM to F1 being a difficult one, many of di Resta’s colleagues, rivals and friends believe he has the ability to make it. The 22-year-old impressed at a McLaren test earlier in the year, in a car equipped with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) and 2009-specification components.
“Paul Di Resta is undoubtedly a future Formula One star; truly one of a new breed of British racing talents,” said Haymarket Exhibitions Show Director Ian France. “Paul is an incredibly focused driver, so his appearance at Autosport International will be a rare chance to meet him before he hits the big time!” Notes to editorsThe 2008 Autosport International Show attracted over 84,000 visitors, including 28,000 trade buyers. Over 1,000 media representatives were present throughout the event, covering the show’s numerous live displays and 850 exhibitors.
Autosport International will be open to the public on Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 January 2009. Adult tickets start at £29 per day, with children’s tickets costing £19, and include a 34-page souvenir brochure. To book, visit autosport-international.com or call 0044 (0) 844 579 3188 .
Paddock passes are available for £35 per adult and £25 for children. In addition to standard admission, visitors will have access to the Driver Signing Area as well as fast-track entry to the Live Action Arena and a great viewing position at the centre of the grandstands.
A Platinum Club pass, at £100, includes all the benefits of the Paddock Pass plus exclusive access to the VIP enclosure at the very top of the Live Action Arena grandstand, complete with champagne and canapés. You will also receive complimentary parking, cloakroom at the NEC plus a goodie bag.