Professional MotorSport World Expo 2017
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2008 SHOW REVIEW

As the 2008 show came to a close, exhibitors and visitors were universally excited by the success of this year's event. Everybody looked forward to its continued growth in 2009.

Show regular Elite Racing Transmissions came to the 2008 show with two new gearboxes: a front-wheel drive system called FD250-6S and a transaxle design called TXL250-6S. Managing director Mark Bloor said, “These are both sequential six-speed units with a high torque rating of 475Nm, so they are suitable for rallycross or circuit racing. They are designed to have many internal parts in common, like the actuators, gears and shafts, so we can keep our prices down and pass the savings on to customers. There has been lots of interest, and the show has been good for us. We have seen it grow over the last three years.”

Xtrac launched its first complete rack and pinion steering unit. Destined initially for prototype LMP1 cars, it has been designed with a short magnesium housing so it can be used where space is tight – on GT cars or certain one-make series, for example. The arm lengths are adjustable, and backlash can be adjusted in situ. A drive is attached for a potentiometer to measure steering angle. Development director Cliff Hawkins has enjoyed the show: “The 10.00 to 5.00 format works really well, we have met many of our F1 customers, and the Gala Dinner was great.”

HJS launched a new performance exhaust system for the Mitsubishi Evo X. Designed for Group N use, the system is 30% lighter than the standard item while meeting the FIA emissions regulations. Made of 1.2mm-thick stainless steel, the size is the same but back-pressure has been reduced by 30% due to the design of the catalyst. Klaus Osterhaus from HJS said, “This is a lightweight system with a clever catalyst which allows the gases to flow through quicker. It adheres to all the regulations, and cuts the NOx by 80% and the HCs and CO by 90%.” This is the third time HJS has exhibited at the show, and Osterhaus is confident he will be back in 2009. “This has been the best year yet for visitors,” he observed.

Thierry Huron from TAG Heuer said, “It is our first time as exhibitors, and it has been very promising with lots of contacts. More visitors than expected in fact, and we are thinking about enlarging the size of our stand for next year.”

Mark Pickford was a first-time attendee from Friction Marketing Co Ltd, a company that specializes in brake and clutch materials. He said, “I have come to see a few customers, and I have made some useful new contacts. It’s a great show because it is just trade, and I have been able to kill two birds with one stone and see many people in one go.”

Another first-time visitor at the show was Arie Kroeze from Tachos Rallying in the Netherlands. His team races a Volvo 240 and a BMW 325 in various championships in the Netherlands and Germany, although upgrades are on the cards. Kroeze said, “We are considering upgrading the Volvo to a turbo version, and maybe upgrading the BMW to a Nissan 350Z. We prepare the cars ourselves so that is why we are here.” Kroeze has enjoyed the show. He continued, “It’s been great to see all these different manufacturers in one place. We have got some good contacts to get in touch with after the show when we evaluate the options. We have been particularly interested in the braking firms – we have found some new companies who we never knew existed.”

Mick Cross from Autocross Ltd was also a first-time visitor. His company makes spaceframe chassis and carbon-fiber panels. He commented, “The quality here is excellent. I’ll come again next year. It’s easy to remain insular working in England, so it’s nice to see the broader picture. From a professional point of view it’s good that it’s trade only.”


WEDNESDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2008

The first day of the event ended with a spectacular Gala Dinner and the presentation of the 2008 Professional Motorsport World Annual Awards.


Click here for the 2008 Winners

Vehicle Development of the Year Award winner KTM was delighted. PR manager Manfred Wolf said, “We feel terrific. The whole team is very pleased to get this outstanding award. Seeing the jury and the quality of the other nominees has made it mean even more.”

Randolph Toom from Powertrain Innovation of the Year winner, heat2power added, “I feel great about this award. I hope this is going to increase demand with customers. I am now very eager to enter a race series with this technology. There are huge opportunities – especially with Le Mans. Racing is often paid for by the car makers to promote their products, so hopefully this means with racing success the technology will filter through one day to mainstream passenger cars.”

One company with several new products on display was ZF Sachs Race Engineering. The company is expanding its horizons and working with two wheels as well as four. On display is an MV Agusta, which features new front forks and new shocks at the rear. Theo Rottenberger, product manager formula says, “The new thing about this design is the way in which it can be adjusted, so the rider can take into account different speeds, surface conditions and tire wear and temperature.” Also new on the stand is Sachs Racing Damper Fluid. Olaf Schwaier, managing director, says, “Oil is almost like the fuel of the shock absorber. The most important thing is the viscous behavior. As temperatures increase, damping forces are reduced and this is minimized with our new fluid, which is rated at 40-140°C.” The damper fluid is the result of two years’ development work, in conjunction with a lubrication manufacturer. Now ZF Sachs is working with FI teams Ferrari and BMW, as well as a major British team. Schwaier continues, “It is the additives that are important, more so than the base oil, which is often chosen on price. In the future there will be more research into additives for bespoke race car dampers.”

Micro finisher Neuteq Europe was attending the show for the second time. The company specializes in cam and crankshafts, finishing them prior to assembly, as well as selling machinery. Sales director Mark Hendel says, “The show has been very good again this year. We’ve seen some new and familiar faces. We’ve been more proactive in our European operations lately and people have been to seek us out. We like the targeted nature of the show, and it is good that it is not open to the general public. Judging by the quality of the visitors, the show is worthy of its name.”

Race car and hill-climb specialist Pilbeam shared a stand with ChassisSim this year. The latter is launched a new version of its software. Danny Nowlan, ChassisSim director, says, “This new lap time simulation software can take data from any standard system, then hundreds of parameters can be adjusted. Also it can interface with any of the main data logic packages so exporting information is easy, and it is very useful for refining a setup or driver training.” Mike Pilbeam says, “We have found the software to be very good, with a good correlation between simulated and real data, and it is very responsive to changes.” The system is being used with GT cars, Le Mans and Formula 3.

Pilbeam visited the 2007 show and gave a presentation; after walking the hall he decided to exhibit at the 2008 event. He is currently working on a VdeV 2-liter prototype with a Neil Brown engine. “This is the first car we have created without a wind tunnel,” he says. “We just used CFD, which we found a very positive experience. The technology has advanced rapidly over the last three years, and we would use this method again.” Commenting on his impression of the show as an exhibitor, he added, “It has been very good. The UKTI has been very helpful, and unlike at other shows, everyone you talk to is serious.”

Eiichi Sato has come all the way from Japan to attend. He says, “There is nothing like this in Japan, for the industry professionals.” Working as assistant chief engineer for Honda’s R&D department, he has made some great contacts. “It is troublesome to get lots of contacts in Japan, but over the three days here in Cologne I have met many useful people. The exhibitors are patient and good at explaining things, so I am keen to return next year.”

Ulrich Holtkamp has also enjoyed his time at the show. He says, “It is very professional, with the right stuff for the right people. I have discovered lots of new things and it is great to be able to get a closer look, something a catalog can never offer. I have been particularly interested in the onboard cameras… it really is possible to create a live view of a race.” Holtkamp is a keen racer, and member of the famous Düsseldorf Automotive Sport Club, which was established in 1905. He races the 1973 Formula 3 car that won that year’s British Championship.

Professional MotorSport World Expo also offers great variety. Michael Tissier, Suspension Group leader from Toyota Motorsport Germany, says, “I am here for the little stuff: screws, bearings and the like. Cerobear has interesting things on its stand, and there are a few other interesting suppliers working with coatings.”


TUESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2008

Professional MotorSport World Expo 2008 opened its doors to a really busy show, with visitor numbers up on last year. Commenting on the show, Tony Robinson, event founder and UKIP CEO, said, “What you see around the hall is that exhibitors have clearly invested more heavily, which is indicative of a show with good returns. It also means that this year, there is more for visitors to see than ever before. There is more technology than ever, the displays are more intense, and the whole event has really matured.”

Another new feature at the show this year was the MotorSport Circuit Owners, Investors and Suppliers Forum. This exciting two-day conference put on an impressive line-up of speakers for the many delegates attending on the first day.

Other show visitors were keen to find out about the latest new products. Menard Competition Technologies (MCT) Ltd has a new V12 engine on display that will be used as part of the propulsion package for the Bloodhound world speed record attempt vehicle. Kevin Lee, MCT MD, says, “The design is a modification of our 750bhp Superleague engine. It will be used as a pumping system for the rocket, so in a way it could become the fastest piston engine in the world!”

Another firm showcasing new products was Sparco. The company has a new seat called the ProADV, which it claims is almost seven times stronger than anything else on the market. Aurelio Sportelli from Sparco says, “This seat sets a new standard in driver safety. Together with the FIA Institute, we have developed it to be very safe in side impacts, and thoroughly crash tested it to identify the exact dynamics of the seat, belts and driver during an impact. It is the only one in Europe which meets such a high standard.” Expect to see the new seat debut in the WRC in 2009. Also new from Sparco is a lightweight material for race overalls, and two new fireproof glove designs, one especially for high-vibration applications, and one designed for high grip.

A newcomer to the show was NoskeComp, a software specialist all the way from Australia. The company provides computerized records of the history of parts fitted to race cars, as Tim Noske explains: “Each part is recorded in the system, so its exact mileage can be called up, or alarms set up to inspect, service or crack test. This helps teams when deciding which parts to replace and when. It’s also very useful if an accident has occurred, as the exact history of components can be traced.” On screen a cut and paste system is used to update the system, and plans are afoot to introduce a drag and drop method in 2009. Noske systems are new to Europe, but are well used in Australian V8 Supercars, the IRL and American Le Mans. Tim Noske adds, “I'm very impressed with the show; it is very well organised and set up.”

OPENING TIMES
Wednesday 15th Nov 10.00 - 17.00
Thursday 16th Nov 10.00 - 17.00
Friday 17th Nov 10.00 - 17.00
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Future show dates:

Professional Motorsport World Expo 2018
Dates: 7-9 November 2018
Location: Hall 10.1, cologne,Germany

Future show dates:

Professional Motorsport World Expo 2019
Dates: 13-15 November 2019
Location: Hall 10.1, cologne,Germany