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Graham Jones award announced


During his three year stint as editor of Racecar Engineering, one of the tasks that Graham Jones most looked forward to was picking the most innovative product on display in the Autosport Engineering Show. Together with the staff of the magazine, every year Graham, who passed away in September, took great pride in presenting the winner with the award on the show's main stage on Friday afternoon. Earlier this year he wrote about the judging process, 'one of the more


enjoyable tasks that falls to the Racecar Engineering staff during the Autosport Engineering show involves choosing the most innovative product. There is often much spirited debate during the selection process regarding the merits of the respective products.' At this year's Autosport Engineering


show, as a tribute to Graham, Racecar Engineering will be proud to hand out the Graham Jones Award for the most innovative product.


Gravel trap By Sam Collins E


ngland in mid-January


is not the most hospitable place,


with snow-induced travel disruption and cold, rainy days a certainty. And Birmingham at that time of year is not what you might call a romantic destination. But, quite frankly, it is the place you have to be for a week. The reason for this is the Autosport


International show at the Birmingham NEC. Now, you may be thinking that I have to say this as it is written in a magazine that has long promoted the event, but actually I don’t. I’m writing this because it is precisely what I think. I first attended the show as a student in the late 1990s and was taken aback by the sheer depth of it – everything from the newest Formula 1 machinery to the tiniest (but very advanced) nut bolt or washer was on display. Whilst the new F1 cars are rarely unwrapped there these days, there is still a huge amount of interest from F1 teams. You will probably find more senior grand prix technical personnel wandering the myriad aisles than at


any other show. I think last year I saw someone from every constructor there, and every engine manufacturer. The reason for this is that


Britain still has the best motorsport engineering cluster in the world, and the two-day engineering part of the show is where they choose to show off their lastest products. But for me that is not the best bit of the show. In the far end of the NEC you’ll find a plethora of small racecar constructors showing off their wares – new Formula Fords, Vees and Sports Prototypes attract potential drivers and some familiar faces. Watching Ulrich Baretzky, the engine boss of Audi Sport, check out the engine tuning on one of Alan Harding’s air-cooled Volkswagen engines last year was a treat, and seeing Bill Riley telling one of the European Late Model Series drivers how to set up his car was also fun. But the point of it all, of course, is business, and I think everyone who goes to this show either finds new customers or finds some new technology to go a little quicker in the coming season. The new International


Motorsport Business week is well overdue, and many of the deals will be done during its events. So, if you have never been to the show before (particularly if you are reading this outside the UK), you are already at a competitive disadvantage. So book your hotel and airline tickets and head to the West Midlands. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.


92 www.racecar-engineering.com • January 2012 Technology transfer on show


From the highest degree of engineering integrity to the paramount value of reliability, there are many shared values in the production of components for the medical and motorsport industries. The considerable cost of in-house manufacturing facilities mean many race teams rely on external sub-contractors to produce key parts, which opens up the possibility for firms in the medical industry to break into the lucrative motorsport market, worth £4.6 billion to the UK alone*. Whether producing printed


circuit boards (PCBs) for heart monitors or telemetry systems for Formula 1, the processes put in place by standards such as ISO13485 and ISO9001 ensure high calibre end products in both fields, with key quality control systems such as batch traceability, design validation and operator logging common to both industries. One company already


leveraging the technology crossover between sectors is St Cross Electronics, a leading manufacturer of wiring solutions. St Cross Electronics’ current clients include medical suppliers such as Texas Instruments and Phillips, as well as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) series in the United States. 'Medical and military


projects probably make up about 80 per cent of our business,' says Dax Ward, managing director of St Cross Electronics. 'However, having processes in place such as stock bonding, stock lifing and the ability to produce large production runs makes us ideally placed for supplying series such as NASCAR. The standards that the medical and military industries require give us a real advantage over our competitors who only serve the motor racing sector.' St Cross Electronics has


developed and nurtured its motorsport customer base by exhibiting at Autosport International, Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, which takes place at the Birmingham NEC, UK from 12-15 January 2012. Autosport International


provides a networking platform for businesses in complementary sectors, such as medical manufacturing looking to expand into new markets. In 2011, 28,900 trade visitors from 50 countries attended the event, generating £800 million of business across four days. For companies interested


in exploring the possibilities offered by the motorsport industry, visit www. autosportinternational.com for information on how to go about booking a trade stand and obtaining tickets.


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