Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 Honours Tom Wheatcroft
Story and photos by Simon Wright & Janet Wright
The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 was held 17-18, July on the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, England, with more than 150 cars and bikes competing, spanning seven decades of motorsports.
The Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley) Pageant of Power, now in its 3rd year, was a little unfortunate with the weather. After the recent heat wave in the UK, the weather broke the week before the event, and grey skies delivered plenty of fine rain. This did not dampen the enthusiasm of the large crowd or the competitors and they were rewarded with some sunny spells and plenty of action. The Pageant of Power (POP) is a unique event in the UK which offers action on land, water and in the air. As well as the competition course for cars and motorcycles, there was powerboat racing action on the mere next to the start line and air displays in the skies. Cholmondeley also now has a large military display area situated next to the circuit, and during the lunch break a battle display exploded across this area.
This year’s event paid tribute to Tom Wheatcroft who passed away in October 2009. He was the man who returned racing back to Donington Park in 1977 after it was closed during the Second World War. Tom also set up the largest collection of Grand Prix cars in the world, which is now based in a museum next to Donington Park. A selection of this collection was bought to Cholmondeley for this years Pageant, highlighted by several Vanwalls including the 1957 Streamliner and the only rear engined Vanwall, the VW14 from 1961. The Streamliner was used in practice for the French Grand Prix in 1957, but never raced. Another of Tom’s favourites was the ex-Nuvolari 1933 Maserati 8CM which was also driven at the event.
Some of the cars and bikes were competing against the clock to set the fastest time of the day on the 1.2 mile course, while others just gave a demonstration of motoring from days gone by. The course has a distinctive feature not found on any other racing circuit in the UK. This is a hump back bridge, which comes just after a sharp left corner which is approached down hill. Only the fastest accelerating cars can get airborne here, but quite a few managed to get all wheels of the ground.
Due to the damp conditions earlier, the fastest time was set in the final session on Sunday afternoon by Nick Faulkner in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera with a time of 62.68 seconds. He narrowly beat Tom Sykes riding a Zx-10R Ninja Kawasaki motorcycle with another motorcycle in 3rd spot, a Ducati 848 ridden by Darren Fry. Forth overall was the best of the Rally cars, a MG Metro 6R4 of Ian Rowlance.
Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 – Results
1st Nick Faulner, Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, 62.68secs.
2nd Tom Sykes, ZX-10R Ninja Kawasaki, 63.63 secs
3rd Darren Fry, Ducati 848, 64.95secs
4th Ian Rowlance, MG Metro 6R4, 65.02secs
5th Jan Van Hierop, Audi 80, 66.31secs
6th Ulrich Eichhorn, Bentley GT Supersport, 67.09secs
One of the favourites with the crowd was a new British GT, developed locally in the Midlands and fitted with 6 wheels to aid performance. The JCB GT launched itself from the start line in clouds of smoke and a roar from its mighty V8 engine that would have woken up people for miles around! The two extra wheels are fitted to the rear to ensure that when it does a ‘wheelie’ from the start line by lifting the two front wheels, the entire digger does not tip over on to its back arm and bucket. Capable of reaching speeds of over 100mph, it is the fastest road digger in the country, and would put many cars to shame in a drag race!
The variety of the entry was impressive, with Grand Prix and Le Mans sports cars present, along with saloons, GT, Rallying and vintage cars plus many modern road going super cars covering a century of motoring history. The Motorcycles also included Moto GP and TT bikes from many different periods.
The damp conditions on Saturday caught out a few drivers, with Richard Mason’s 1984 ex-TWR Jaguar XJS Touring car having an “off” at Lozenger, the sweeping down hill curve, hitting the straw bales with enough force to knock down the wooden fence behind the straw bales. This caused a slight delay while the driver and car were extracted, and repairs made to the course. Also one of the old BRM Grand Prix cars had a slight “off “ in to the straw bales, putting a dent in the nose cone, but this did not stop the car from competing.
Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
[Source: Simon & Janet Wright]