Cholmondeley Pageant of Power

The best supercar shoot-out to date, a dedicated class for AC Cobras and the return to action for a famous Cooper were among the headline attractions during the ifth running of the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.

Unfortunately, once again dreadful weather across the irst two days rather took the shine off the event. The battle for supercar supremacy at the Cheshire event stepped up a gear for 2012, with several new manufacturers represented and some hot-shot drivers recruited to ight for marque bragging rights.

A year ago, the striking single-seat BAC Mono broke over the infamous jump just before the inish of the 1.2-mile sprint course. This time around, the Cheshire-based road-legal track day car, in the hands of GT racer Duncan Tappy, took top honours in the supercar class when the best of the weather arrived on the inal day. Tappy was challenged by James Pickford (Ferrari 458), Tom Onslow-Cole (BMW M5) and Niki Faulkner (Lamborghini Aventador). Scott Mansell, in the Caterham SP300R, went fastest of all.

Noise and drama were everywhere in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle, ranging from the sprint course to classic scrambling, air displays, stunt motorbikes, boat racing, off-road displays and autograss. Big crowds were well supplied with powered activity and when the sun eventually shines for three days, the event will finally enjoy the runaway success it surely deserves.

Back on track, the team from Hall and Hall brought a selection of BRMs from the Donington Collection, including the ex-Richie Ginther P57 ‘stackpipe’ and the ex-Jackie Oliver P153 owned for decades by Bobby Bell.

To celebrate the life of Roy Salvadori, Rick Hall brought the ex-Stuart Lewis-Evans Aston Martin DBR4 Grand Prix car, driven by Salvadori in period. After four decades in a shed, the return of an ex-David Hepworth Cooper T43-Chevrolet hillclimb car was another highlight. Bought by Hepworth’s sons Steven and Andrew when it was discovered in Scotland, the 1960 car emerged from a ive-year rebuild with two days to spare. “We have tried to keep it as much in character as it was then,” said Andrew, pointing to the damage to the front bodywork inlicted by his father when unloading the car in 1965.

While there is much that is very good about the Pageant of Power, the entry lacked a little in cohesion, with widely disparate machines lumped together in vague classes. However, the 50th anniversary of the AC Cobra was a popular theme, with Justin Law lying along in his 289 Mk2 to set the pace.

The ever-popular aero-engined monsters of Chris Williams (Napier Bentley) and Duncan Round (Packard Bentley) thrilled the crowds with their usual ire-breathing spectacle, as did Brutus from the Sinsheim Museum in Germany.

Paul Lawrence