Before the start of the sixth Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Robbie Kerr had never seen the 1.2-mile course, had never driven a Radical and had never competed in a speed event. By the end of the weekend, he had set the overall fastest time and smashed the course record by six seconds.
The former British F3 champion delivered a mighty performance in his factory-entered Radical SR8 as Scott Mansell dug deep in the Caterham R300 to push Kerr hard in an absorbing contest at the head of the event. The fight for Supercar supremacy was comprehensively eclipsed as the trackday cars set a fierce pace and the class-winning Lamborghini Superleggera of Tim Marshall-Rowe was six seconds adrift.
With the weather finally coming good, the sixth edition of the Cheshire event was a runaway success, and event boss James Hall echoed the view of many by terming it the best yet as 60,000 visitors enjoyed a wonderfully varied event. The boats and hovercraft raced on the lake, aircraft and helicopters filled the skies and myriad attractions and exhibitions entertained the whole family.
But it is the on-track action that gives this event its heart and the diverse entry did not disappoint. Kerr made his pace clear by smashing the minute barrier on his first timed run. Mansell followed him under the minute and it was nip and tuck as both drivers dug deeper with each run.
It all came down to the final run on Sunday afternoon. Mansell went first, but could only match his previous best of 56.53sec. Kerr, however, found a whopping nine-tenths of a second to set the mark at 55.29sec. “There’s still a bit more time to come,” he said after a superb display of controlled aggression on racing wet tyres after being unable to get enough heat into a set of slicks.
Hillclimber Gary Thomas pushed his single-seater Force into third overall from the high-flying Chevron GT3 of Jordan Witt. Like Kerr and Mansell, Witt was getting big air over the famous Cholmondeley bridge just before the finish line. Rick Hall topped the Grand Prix car class in the ex-Mansell Lotus 87, one of six cars from the Hall and Hall stable.
Among the other crowd pleasers were the outrageous Supermoto bike riders, the brutal NASCAR Chevrolet Impala of Mick Strafford and the ever-popular pre-war leviathans of Chris Williams (24-litre Napier Bentley), Duncan Round (42-litre Packard Bentley) and Jorg-Oliver Holzwart (46-litre Brutus BMW). Paul Lawrence