Thousands of people ensured this year’s CarFest North was a fundraising success at its new Bolesworth Castle home.
The brainchild of BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans, CarFest North 2016 marked the ninth edition of the family-friendly festival with a switch from the Oulton Park racetrack to a new purpose-built course in the grounds of Bolesworth Castle.
The eight events held thus far have raised more than £6m for BBC Children in Need, a figure due to rise significantly by the end of this year.
This year’s event saw more cars than ever before, with many manufacturers lending their support, plus dozens of live music acts.
Multiple Formula 1 World Champions Red Bull Racing headlined the Track Sprint, as the title-winning RB7 – piloted by former Macau F3 Grand Prix winner António Félix da Costa and recently crowned FIA Formula E Champion Sébastien Buemi – wowed onlookers with a series of high-speed runs along the hay bale-lined hill climb.
There was also a 1993 Benetton-Ford B193B, in which Michael Schumacher won that season’s Portuguese Grand Prix.
The story of motoring was told via The Time Tunnel, as 40 iconic cars from down the decades went on display, from a classic turn-of-the-20th century Oldsmobile right up to the present day with an electric 2016 Tesla Model X.
Other highlights included a 1913 Ford Model T – an example of the car generally regarded as the world’s first affordable automobile – a 1948 Series 1 Land Rover, a 1967 Ford Mustang Coupé and a homologated 1984 Audi Quattro.
There was also a 1982 DeLorean DMC-12, the car made famous by the Back to the Future film trilogy, plus the Top Gear Stunt Team led by Paul Swift and smoke-spewing hot rods.
BBC Children in Need’s mascot Pudsey Bear was much in evidence around the site, high-fiving enthusiastic festival-goers and cheerfully posing for photographs.
Traditional favourites like ‘Britain’s Best’ and food fair demos with celebrity chefs Tom Kerridge and Rachel Allen, meanwhile, were joined by welcome new additions such as showjumping, camel racing, a sponsored rubber duck race and dancing workshops with TV stars Kevin, Karen and Joanne Clifton and Natalie Lowe.
On the music front, there were three days packed with music acts ranging from electronica group Faithless to Scottish rockers Travis and The Proclaimers, reunited duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, CarFest regulars Texas, soul star James Morrison, Irish comeback quartet The Corrs and reggae king Billy Ocean, with indie group the Kaiser Chiefs and global superstar Bryan Adams closing the show respectively on Saturday and Sunday night.
“This has been, quite simply, the best CarFest yet,” said event host Evans.
“We had so much fun and it was fantastic to see so many people with smiles on their faces throughout the weekend.”