Pageant of Power, Cholmondeley – Review
Pageant of Power, Cholmondeley
by Liam Bird
You have to feel for the organisers of The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. Every year they gather together some of the finest examples of sports and racing cars, motorcycles, boats and water-craft, plus aeroplanes and helicopters of all shapes and vintages from all over the world and every year the weather is unkind to them. Even this year, after re-scheduling the event from its usual end of July slot to earlier dates in June in an attempt to avoid the inclement weather that seemingly has gone hand-in-hand with CPOP since its beginnings 5 years ago – the rain turned biblical.
Still, in defiance of the typically British weather, over the course of 3 days more than 50,000 people turned up to what was the biggest and best Pageant of Power so far. Despite damp tarmac Scott Mansell took nearly a second off the track record in his Caterham Superlight, with a blistering time over the undulating 1.2 mile garden course of just 61.89 seconds.
Whilst out on the lake, for those spectators who want to get even wetter still, jet-skis, powerboats and RIBs thrill the crowds by performing high-speed runs and giving passenger rides.
“Driven to their limits”
The skies of South Cheshire played host to not only the world-famous Red Arrows, who got proceedings well and truly underway on the Sunday morning, but also to the Breitling wing-walkers and the ever-popular Tri-Services Helicopter Agility competition. The only public demonstration of its type in the UK, this is a close-fought battle, in which the RAF team claimed the highest score after a series of demanding handling tests that highlighted just how extraordinary the skills of modern armed forces helicopter pilots really are.
As well as a better format and layout, one of the highlights of the 2102 event is the AutoCar-sponsored, Supercar Class. A host of thrilling supercars, which not only includes Lamborghini’s magnificent sounding Gallardo but also one of only 77 examples of Aston Martin’s £1.27 million One-77, are driven to their limits in an attempt to establish which is fastest around the twisty, tortuous Pageant circuit.
While not able to beat the non-road-legal Caterham Superlight to overall fastest-lap honours, the single-seater BAC Mono driven by Duncan Tappy does manage to secure a hotly-contested class win. With a best time of 63.06 seconds, the Holmes-Chapel BAC team are particularly happy as, being from just up the road, the Pageant is effectively their ‘home’ event.
“We witness the hallowed and ultra rare Moto Guzzi V8”
For those who prefer their automotive thrills on two wheels rather than four, not only is there an opportunity to witness the hallowed and ultra rare Moto Guzzi V8 taking to the circuit under the expert guidance of Double European Trials Championship winner, Sammy Miller, but also the chance of both rubbing shoulders with 17 time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness and also getting up close and personal with the actual Honda Fireblade on which he stormed to victory this year.
Christan Ibbon, Chris Hodgson and Lewis Cornish of British and National Super-Moto fame also put in appearances.
“The British summer once again proves as unreliable as ever for the Pageant, but it doesn’t dampen our spirits or those of the many thousands who flock – enthusiastic and undaunted – to the Cholmondeley estate,” comments James Hall, Event Director for the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.
Try as they might the organisers of Cholmondeley may not be able to book good weather, but their Pageant of Power is fast becoming a date any self-respecting motor-sport fan of any persuasion should have in their diary. Remember to take your boots and umbrella though – just in case!