The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2011 was held 15-17 July on the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, England. In total 175 automobiles and motorcycles raced on the Cholmondeley circuit, in addition to more than 1,200 cars on display around the Castle. It is anticipated that, in spite of the wet weather during Sunday, attendance figures comfortably exceeded the record 50,000 total from 2010.
The 2011 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was extended to a third day for the first time, with Friday being used by competing drivers and motorcyclists to put in some high-speed practise laps in front of the spectators, as well as for the event’s ‘Magnificent Marques’ sponsors – Bentley, Jaguar and Ford – to invite guests to experience the testing Cholmondeley circuit for themselves. The addition of the Friday also meant even more visitors could get close to the international field of famous cars, racing drivers and motorcyclists in the paddocks.
Another new feature for the 2011 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was the purpose-built Rally Stage, which played host to nearly 30 iconic Group B rally cars blasting across the Cholmondeley estate. Also new was the Green-Car-Guide-Live! area, which introduced visitors to a host of environmentally-friendly road and race cars.
“Despite the occasional intervention of the notoriously unreliable British summer weather, the 2011 Pageant lived up to all our expectations,” commented James Hall, event director at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power. “We added a day, introduced some new features and brought in more famous cars, motorcycles, boats, aeroplanes and helicopters to intensify the action. The feedback has been fantastic and thanks to our sponsors, supporters and a dedicated Pageant team we’ve been able to build on the event’s nationwide reputation as an unbeatable day out. We’re already working on the 2012 Pageant, and hope to deliver a range of new attractions to thrill the crowds.”
The competition for fastest lap time on the 1.2-mile circuit was as hotly contested as ever, even if sporadic showers meant that last year’s outright lap record remained intact. However, the holder of that record, Nikki Faulkner, claimed the Pageant’s fastest lap once again, achieving a blistering best time of 63.54 seconds in his Lamborghini LP570-4 Performante. He was pushed hard by rally ace Mark Higgins in a Subaru Cosworth Impreza STI CS400, which proved unbeatable during the rain-affected track sessions.
The Combat Power display by the British Army and the RAF – a unique event in the UK – gave the tens of thousands of spectators the chance to witness how the armed forces operate in real-life combat situations in Afghanistan. To the accompaniment of numerous ground-shaking explosions, smoke and constant machine-gun fire, troops assaulted an ‘enemy’ position right in front of the spectators. Tanks and helicopters were used to drop the troops in the heart of the action and then extract ‘injured’ casualties. As well as thrilling the crowds, the display helped raise much-needed funds for the Pageant’s designated military charities: Combat Stress, Remount and the Mercian Benevolent Fund (MBF).
Out on the largest of the Cholmondeley estate’s lakes powerboats performed 120 mph-plus runs on the venue’s lake, while overhead bi-planes, helicopters and gyrocopters provided further adrenaline-fuelled distractions.
During a balmy Saturday evening a biggest-ever crowd arrived for the Pageant’s Fireworks Concert, which concluded with a Proms-style programme accompanied by a helicopter flypast, and cannon salute courtesy of the local Mercian regiment.
Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
[Source: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power]