Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire is the quintessential serene English stately home, however once a year all that changes when Lord Cholmondeley welcomes a smorgasbord of high-horsepower machines to the grounds of the estate for the annual Pageant of Power.
Now in its sixth year, the 2013 show was the biggest yet with over 80 cars and 40 bikes powering their way around the 1.2 mile circuit to try and set a top lap-time. As well as action on the track, Cholmondeley’s lake was awash with water-craft including jet skis, powerboats, fly-boards, ribs and hovercrafts, whilst in the sky above the crowds were entertained by a variety of planes and helicopters, including a Bell 412 Griffin search and rescue helicopter and the iconic RAF Lancaster and Spitfire in the Battle of Britain memorial fly past.
As well as a strong presence from founder sponsor Bentley, other marques prominent at this year’s Pageant were Lamborghini and Aston Martin, respectively celebrating their 50 year and 100 year anniversaries and both showing off their latest models. Among the supercars taking part in timed laps was the blistering Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera Edizione Tecnica, which held the lap record of 62.68 seconds until last year when this was trimmed to a sprightly 61.89 seconds by the ultra lightweight Caterham SP/300 R.
The Lamborghini stand remained crowded throughout the weekend with people admiring the new 6.5-litre V12 engined 700 horsepower Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, which is capable of 0 to 62 mph in just 3 seconds. This is first time it has been seen in public in the UK.
We were trackside throughout the event and have a selection of highlights from the weekend in the gallery below. On the track there was a huge range of stunning vehicles competing throughout the day, with lightweight highlights such as BAC Mono, Radical RXC and Ariel Atom and supercars such as the Bugatti Veyron, Audi R8, McLaren 12C and Noble M600, in addition to an array of Lamborghinis and Aston Martins.
Testing the laws of physics and the limits of courage were the superbike, motorcycle and side car and three wheel vehicle riders, tearing around the circuit and incredible speed and popping the odd wheelie to thrill the crowds and provide plenty of photo opportunities. A range of pre-war cars, ‘wacky’ cars, and ear-popping historic F1 cars completed the Pageant’s diverse line-up.
Around the grounds were a selection of other stalls and attractions including off road buggies, quadbikes, scrambling bikes and helicopter rides. There was even a full-scale replica of the 1,000 mph Bloodhound Supersonic car on display. Rally fans were also in for a treat with a range of World Rally Championship and British Rally Championship cars appearing on track alongside some fantastic 1980’s Group B cars, whose drivers never fail to impress.
“Today sees the start of our biggest and best Pageant to date, and the action on land, water and air means there is something for everyone,” said James Hall, Event Director for the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. “No other event in the UK comes close to bringing together so many different elements and so much varied machinery. It’s impossible to see ultra-exclusive hypercars lining up alongside hovercraft racers, historic Formula One cars, World War Two warbirds and current World Rally competitors, unless you’re a visitor to this ultimate family day out.”
If you missed out on this year’s Pageant of Power, keep an eye on www.cpop.co.uk for details the 2014 show.
Photos: Richard Hill