The Geneva Salon is not just about new cars, concepts, and styling exercises - it is also a place to show off your race car, either taking a bow about past successes or hoping to sell the latest and greatest. Here are a few of the competition cars that are gracing the stages of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
Mercedes F1 W05
Starting at the top, or so the folks who run Formula One would have you believe, is the 2014 Championship winning Mercedes F1 W05. In the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, it dominated proceedings, winning 16 out of 19 Grand Prix.
Personally, I lost interest in Formula One over 20 years ago - but even I have to admit that this is an impressive piece of kit. Mercedes nailed the new hybrid regulations in 2014, making the other teams and manufacturers look amateur - and it would be a brave punter who would bet against a repeat performance in 2015.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
Mercedes-Benz has the longest heritage in motorsport, with a competition background stretching back over 120 years - and this 300 SL on display at Geneva is part of that proud history. In 1955, Mercedes-Benz were at the top of the motor racing tree, back-to-back Championship wins in Formula One were added to victories in the endurance classics such as the Mille Miglia.
In '55 first and second places were taken by Stirling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR prototypes, while the GT class honors fell to John Fitch and his navigator, Kurt Gesell, in this 300 SL - finishing a fine fifth place overall. The 417 number signifies their starting time at Brescia of 04:17 am on May 1, 1955.
Adding even more to the Mercedes-Benz stand, was their latest sportscar, the Mercedes-AMG GT3. Making its debut here, this car is destined for the highly successful and competitive GT3 class which Mercedes-AMG have a stellar record in.
The results of the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3, particularly in 2013, stands comparison with any racer, I wrote about it at the time, HERE . So the new car has big shoes to fill, but just looking at the new sleek carbon-fibre machine, I feel that it will be more than up to the job.
Powered by a 6.3 litre V8 engine, the GT3 will undergo an intensive development and test program during 2015 - with the first customer cars being delivered in time for the start of the 2016 season.
Audi R8 LMS
Another GT3 competitor making its debut at the Geneva Salon was the Audi R8 LMS. If the Mercedes ruled the roost in 2013, it could be said that this Audi's predecessor did so in 2012 and 2014, Balance of Performance sometimes works that way.
Work started on the new generation R8 in 2014, and the finished product will comply to the safety regulations that are being revised for the 2016 season.
The car is being developed to be ready to compete in the 24 Hour events at Nürburgring and Spa. Subject to there being nothing amiss with those 'Werks' efforts, Audi will take orders from their customers and get the first batch of cars out before the end of the year.
Audi R18 e-tron quattro LM P1
Also on the Audi stand was their 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours winner.
And "Mister Le Mans" himself, Tom Kristensen, was in the house. He recently retired with a record nine victories to his credit - to read more on his races at La Sarthe in an earlier piece I've written, click HERE.
In the above shot, he can be seen talking to Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. The Great Dane declared that he was not looking for a seat at Le Mans, he has definitely retired. In between these two heavyweights is Sam Collins of RaceCar Engineering fame.
Nissan will face not just Audi and Porsche in 2015, but also Toyota. The Japanese giant had their 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship winner on their stand.
The four-way struggle between the manufacturers for supremacy is a mouth-watering prospect. I looked at the technical and sporting side of the battle in 2014 HERE and HERE and I expect that the contest will be even fiercer, and, of course, we will be there to bring you all the action here at DrivingLine.
Next up from the Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce takes bespoke to the next level with "Serenity"...