16.01.2005 The FIA GT regular DAMS Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, a Ferrari Enzo, and the new Dallara F305, headline the Italian-flavoured SRO Motorsports stand at the Autosport International

The FIA GT regular DAMS-run Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, the dramatic Ferrari Enzo supercar, and the new Formula 3 Dallara F305, lead out the heavily Italian flavoured SRO Motorsports Group stand, at the Autosport International in Birmingham this weekend.

This front-running trio are joined by Scuderia Ecosse's Ferrari 360 GTC, resplendent in its new red, white and blue 2005 livery, and in fact, the only non Italian built cars lined by SRO at the world's leading motorsport show, which ends later this evening, are Graham Nash Motorsport's Saleen S7-R, and the JWR-run Porsche 993 GT3 RS.

SRO are nowadays one of the biggest motor racing promoters across the globe. Best known for organising the hugely-popular FIA GT Championship, they also promote the British F3 and GT series', as well as the French FFSA Super SÚrie, and the mix of racing car's on display aimed to reflect this mix.

Undoubted star of the SRO stand, and one car that is drawing the show's large and enthusiastic crowds, is the very impressive-looking orange and black coloured Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT that was campaigned last year by DAMS during the closing four races of the FIA GT Championship.

This car is the no 26 example which made its series debut at Imola in September, and was piloted by a highly experienced duo, Jean-Denis Deletraz and Andrea Piccini. Although the new Lamborghini struggled to make an instant impact, it did however show strong flashes of promise, although a severe lack of pre-debut testing meant that the two DAMS cars were often hampered by teething problems.

Last year was to prove a difficult first season for the new Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT racer, which was first unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt IAA. An early season podium finish in the FIA GT Championship for a test car, entered by Reiter Engineering, the concern charged with development of the project, immediately underlined that the R-GT did indeed have racing potential.

click here for Autosport International photo gallery
click here for Autosport International photo gallery

The new Formula 3 Dallara F305 chassis (top) and the stunning V12 Ferrari Enzo supercar, grace the SRO's display

click here for Autosport International photo gallery
click here for Autosport International photo gallery

Star of the SRO's stand in Birmingham is the exciting orange and black painted DAMS Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT racer

However appearance of the Murcielago R-GT in Birmingham this week was something of a surprise, and with DAMS still remaining tight-lipped about a 2005 GT-based racing programme, it has to be hoped that this exciting new car will get the chance to fully prove itself on the tracks this year.

While the powerful, American-built Saleen S7-R, rounded out the FIA GT's representation on the stand, the brand new F3 Dallara F305 signified the involvement of SRO in running the British F3 series, where the Italian-built single-seater has held sway for almost a decade. Last year was to be no different, with young Brazilian Nelson Piquet in a Dallara F304 powered by a Mugen-Honda engine, taking the title ahead of Briton Adam Carroll, who also used a similar car and engine combination. With just a single Lola-Dome mixing it with the hordes of Dallara runners in 2004, Gianpaolo Dallara's new design will be expected to continue the Italian firm's total dominance of the British F3 scene.

The British GT Championship also moved over to SRO management last year, and it immediately underwent something of a revival. The Ferrari 360 GTC run by Scuderia Ecosse, which, in the hands of Nathan Kinch and Andrew Kirkaldy, won six of the season's races, is present, and on Thursday it was unveiled in a striking new 2005 colour scheme.

Finally the exotic V12-engined Ferrari Enzo, completes the French based SRO's mouth-watering line-up. The example, of this ultimate demonstration of applying pure racing technology to a road-legal car, being shown in Birmingham, is finished in an attention-grabbing bright yellow paint scheme. It was used on last year's 'Supercar Rally', another prestigious event organised by SRO.

by Edd Ellison in Birmingham
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Scuderia Ecosse have unveiled their striking new racing colours during the Autosport International at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham