However, the current name appeared only in 2003, and a test ball was launched five more years earlier. The then “Sport of Motors" was rather interesting to a narrow circle of specialists who know each other perfectly even without an exhibition. And therefore, to the purely sports component of the exposition, the near-sports part - tuning - was soon added. At one time, modified production cars even supplanted racing equipment. However, in 2004, the bias was eliminated - the salon was equally interesting to both fans of “pure” motorsport and tuning lovers. And the sixth traditional exhibition successfully changed its registration - from the pavilions of the All-Russian Exhibition Center it didn’t move somewhere, but to the Manege, restored after the fire.
Perhaps tuning this time deserves a separate material, which we will present in one of the next issues, and today we’ll talk about sports exhibits.
Statistics of the past season, presented by the Russian Automobile Federation, of course, require comment. On the one hand, progress is evident - our motorsport is developing. On the other hand, there remained a heap of unresolved problems: there is a noticeable shortage of racing classes, and those that are are imperfect both technically and organizationally. Some are interesting only as a “thing in themselves”, while others, with relative accessibility, are closer to amateur competitions than to sports of higher achievements.
The main pain point is the ring tracks. Those on which they compete, and there are only three of them, the language does not turn to be called full-fledged racetracks. And clouds are already gathering over them - rumors are circulating about the demise of the Nevsky Ring, the prospects of Myachkovo near Moscow are not radiant. As an alternative, there are only plans so far: Vizavi Bank is working on a project of a highway near Moscow in the Mytishchi area, and the Maxmotor-Ulyanovsk team present at the exhibition is building a race track in their hometown - there is already land, but nothing more. They approved the construction of a ring near Tolyatti, of course, with the participation of AvtoVAZ.
This time, the plant’s stand was somewhat inferior to last year’s, but it fully represented the stages of development of factory sports: from the legendary cross “penny” to the “Lada Revolution” roadster, which survived the second racing season. What is especially nice, the rally car “Lada-112VK S2000” did not stay at the layout level. A year ago, the concept with tightly tinted glass was just the embodiment of the ambitions of the plant. And now - an already existing model, successfully baptized at the final stage of the Russian Rally Cup. There is still finishing work ahead, but so short - the annual interval from the layout to the efficient rally car is a good indicator. It is hoped that the central exhibit, "Lada-110" for competitions at the World Ring Championship (WTCC), will be put into operation even faster.
This year, motorsport fans will see a VAZ-1119 hatchback with a 1.4-liter 16-valve engine, also shown by AvtoVAZ, on ring roads. For the new Lada Kalina Cup monoclass, they plan to assemble 25 of these cars by spring.
The traditional pair represented the formula ring: Rus and F-1600. The results of the past season are encouraging - new stars have lit up in Rus: Sergey Romashchenko, Ivan Samarin, Evgeny Novikov, Artem Kholin, and the cars themselves are being improved and next season will help reveal new talents. The Art-Line Engineering team exhibited the F1605 car with a carbon fiber monocoque already tested in the national championship. It is designed to compete with the used Italian Dallar chassis, which so far is the majority of Formula 1600 pilots.
Noted in the Manege and "Sport Garage" - the organizer of the racing series RTCC. True, only cups and equipment of pilots spoke about sports achievements at his stand, and the emphasis was on the introduction of racing technologies in tuning. The Dynamo-Motorsport team, successfully performing in the Touring Light, also for some reason did not exhibit vivid exhibits. Of course, this is understandable - professionals and motorsport fans do not need to present it, but still the champion Citroen C2 would be a good decoration of the stand.
Organizations for which motorsport is a marketing tool have begun to catch up with sports teams. At the MTS booth, a combat BMW-320 and Lada Revolution flaunted, bringing the team last season's victory - and, probably, new customers to the mobile operator. Are serious sponsors showing growing interest in motorsport? I want to believe…