Saturday 14 June 2014

Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

The Pageant of Power is an annual motorsports event held in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire. It is similar in some ways to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, though on a smaller scale and not as famous. The main attraction is the short hill climb style circuit on which various categories of cars & motorbikes compete. Visitors are able to get up close to the cars in the paddock area and chat to the owners & drivers. This year they had historic F1, supercars, trackday cars, and Group B rally cars amongst others.

There are also a wide variety of static displays from regional car clubs and dealerships along with camping facilities, activities, fairground, and a concert in the evening and firework display. It's basically a great day out, and we were lucky this year with amazing sunny weather all day. Now I don't claim to be the world's greatest photographer (it's difficult to get a pic without people getting in the way) but here's some photos from the day...
Cholmondeley Castle itself is private, but the gardens are open to the public at certain times. The Castle is high up on a hill, just beyond the paddock area of the show.
This is the bridge over the circuit, it's just by the entrance. You can get a good view from the top but the stewards don't like people stopping as it causes queues behind. Parked nearby was this bright yellow Ultima GTR Can Am convertible.
OK so I may have stopped on the bridge to take a picture. You can see right down this straight section of the circuit where they enter the chicane before accelerating underneath you.
Vauxhall had a VXR display just over the bridge. This is the VXR8 GTS showing off its 6.2 litre supercharged V8 which produces 585PS with 740Nm. It's capable of 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. Yep I read the brochure.
Just across from the Vauxhall stand I found £75,000 worth of Aston Martin Rapide. I guess this is for when 007 settles down and needs a practical car.
Moving on through the various trade displays on my way to the paddock I spotted the Santa Pod stand. I will probably go and see these dragsters in action there later on in the year. Should be fun!
Even the toy cars are expensive in Cheshire.
Passing through the shopping village & trade stands and crossing the lake we're nearly at the paddock. Maserati were celebrating their centenary and had brought quite a few cars to the show. I'm sure someone will correct me but I think this is the GranTurismo MC Sport Line?
Continuing the Italian theme, luxury motors dealer HR Owen brought this beautiful dark blue Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Oh yes and not one, but two Lamborghini Aventadors. 3 x V12, nice.
Finally made it to the paddock. Here is the rear of Oakmere's supercharged Lotus Exige S.
Part of the appeal of the Pageant is it offers something for everybody. It isn't all modern exotica, there're many older cars too such as this Maserati. The paddock smells of petrol and burning rubber...
The amazingly street legal BAC Mono is an impressive piece of engineering. I missed its run on the track but I was able to get as close as I wanted here.
The programme magazine for the event costs £8 but it does tell you the track times for each class of car and their race cards so you can identify them. I reached the paddock around 10.30am, and noticed the historic F1 cars were on at 11am. The paddock is right next to the start line so a bit of waiting and I was rewarded with a great viewing spot to see the cars warming up ready for their run. This little Lotus 18 was making great noises.
After watching some burnouts at the start line, I headed back into the paddock and found this 1996 Toyota Supra with a gigantic turbo. It was also fitted with Meister-R suspension.
Here's something you don't see everyday, a Jaguar XJ220 S with the fixed style headlights.
Bentley Motors' Speed 8 was proving as popular as ever. Here a rep from Bentley was letting kids have a sit in the car which I thought was really cool of them.
The Group B crazys were well represented by the Audi Quattro and Lancia Delta S4. There were also a couple of Lancia Stratos, and a Ford RS200. After all the excitement of the paddock area it was time to head over to the car clubs and stop for a cuppa (£2) and some donuts (6 for £4).
With all the noise and exotica on display you could be forgiven for forgetting about the little Roadster. Fortunately the MX-5 was represented by the North West contingent of the owner's club. It looked to be a decent sized gathering with over 20 cars. It was good to see a ZSport wearing its BBS rims and a really smart Metropolitan Grey Venture model with some nice additions to the front and the rear diffuser fitted.
I spent around 6 hours wandering around the site taking it all in. I'll wrap this post up with some of my other favourites from the day. The Lotus Exige Cup, a very smart Nissan GTR from the owners club stand, the classic Impreza P1, and a ridiculously good looking Ferrari 458 Italia. So I hope you liked the pictures and it's given you a taste of what's on offer at the show.