GREY skies and rainfall didn’t dampen the spirits of thousands of petrolheads who turned out for this year’s Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.
The annual motoring festival proved to be a massive success in spite of the dismal weather, with even more race cars, supercars, motorcycles, helicopters, powerboats, and interactive features than ever before.
The on-track action was once again the centrepiece for the three-day event, which kept to a packed schedule of timed sprints and parade runs on the venue’s 1.2-mile circuit.
The noisiest and fastest of the hundreds of vehicles that took to the Pageant circuit in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle was the weird and wonderful collection of early 20th-century cars powered by aeroplane engines, with the monster 500bhp 47-litre ‘Brutus’ taking centre stage.
And elsewhere on display was a large selection of modern and classic supercars, including the stunning Aston Martin One-77, which is one of only five registered in the UK, and the race-inspired Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic AC Cobra, the Pageant hosted one of the largest gathering of the Anglo-American sports car in the UK, in a special display entitled ‘Cobras at the Castle’.
This year, motorcycling featured more prominently than ever before thanks to a new partnership with legendary petrolhead mecca, Ace Cafe London, meaning there were eye-catching hot rods and superbikes on display.
But one of the most eagerly anticipated and popular exhibits of the weekend was the display of James Bond cars from the world famous movies.
Through a joint partnership with the National Motor Museum, organisers were able to showcase a stunning line-up of genuine Bond cars, including the vanishing Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day, complete with its twin 50-calibre autocannons, rocket projectiles, dorsal target-seeking shotguns, and a passenger ejector seat, as well as the beautiful BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough.
Bringing added thrills was the famous Red Arrows display, the Breitling Wing Walkers, Abarth 300L stunt planes, the RedHawks Duo display team and an air-sea rescue display by RAF Valley.
Members of the public could also enjoy rides in helicopters, powerboats, hovercrafts and even tanks.
This year’s event was also more interactive than ever, with members of the public able to take part in rides in helicopters, powerboats, hovercraft and even tanks.
Other activities included a Top Gear Experience simulator and mini tank-driving arenas, Segway hire, quad biking and assault courses, making it truly a weekend to remember.
James Hall, event director, said this year’s Pageant of Power was the ‘biggest and best ever’.
“There is simply no other event in the whole of the UK that is so packed with action –whether it’ s on land, on our lakes and in the skies above, or one which has so much for visitors to experience first hand,” he said.
He added: “The Pageant has well and truly secured its place as Britain’s most thrilling and most interactive day out.”