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    Event Review: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2013

    The NAA and Automotive Comms shared the hosting of a table in ‘The Start’ hospitality facility at this year’s Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, and without exception, all the guests were blown away by what they saw at the event; here’s why.

    The 2013 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was packed full of an amazingly diverse variety of crazy cars racing on the circuit, ranging from a 1200hp Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse to pre-war cars featuring huge aircraft engines. The Start hospitality facility is located literally on the start line, so networking amongst North West automotive companies took place against a backdrop of soundtracks from vehicles with V8, V12 and in many cases larger powertrains hurling themselves off the start line, over a narrow bridge, and around the 1.3 mile sprint circuit.

    “What a great day out. Thank you Northwest Automotive Alliance for inviting Susan and I to this event. The venue and facilities you provided made it a wonderful day. The timed laps were really impressive and the variety and number of vehicles on display was amazing. It was great meeting your other guests and sharing ideas and experiences. With all the other attractions and activities around the estate it was a really full day out and well worth the visit.” John Haworth, Norlec.

    The supercar class included cars such as the McLaren MP4-12C and the Bentley Ice Record Cabriolet, while this year the new track day car class included NAA member company BAC’s single-seater Mono and the Ariel Atom 3.5.

    However the car that seemed to attract the most attention in the garages was the new 488bhp, 186mph Jaguar F-TYPE V8 S, which Automotive Comms’ Paul Clarke was lucky enough to drive in the competition on the Saturday.

    As well as the racing on the circuit, there were plenty of off-road activities, powerboat action on the estate’s lake, and displays in the skies from planes and helicopters. We’re not aware of any other event with such a diverse range of activities on show. The Goodwood Festival of Speed may be an amazing, well-established event, but it doesn’t have Cholmondeley’s water-based activities. And of course Goodwood is more than a four-hour drive south, so Cholmondeley really does offer something special for people in the Midlands and the North. The 1.3-mile Cholmondeley sprint circuit is more technically challenging than the Goodwood hill climb, and from a spectator point of view, you can actually see the cars on the track at Cholmondeley – something that is increasing difficult for the public to do at Goodwood.

    This year there was a collection of Aston Martins, celebrating the company’s 100-year anniversary, and Lamborghini was also out in strength at this year’s event, celebrating its 50th birthday (having set the lap record at the Pageant three years ago).

    Of course, Bentley, with its factory in Cheshire, is the founding sponsor of the Pageant, and the company’s cars were well represented. Continental GTs were on the track, as well as the ice speed record-breaking Cabriolet, driven by F1 and Le Mans legend Derek Bell. At 3pm on the Sunday there was even a ceremony to mark the exact 10-year anniversary of Bentley’s sixth win at Le Mans, with the Speed 8 that won the event, together with its driver, Guy Smith.

    “I’d like to extend my thanks for the invitation to Cholmondeley. Cholmondeley was one of the best automotive shows I’ve ever been to in the US or UK. It’s rare to see such a variety of cars, bikes, airplanes, and watercraft at the same venue and great to be able to get up close to the track to experience them in full sound. Look forward to attending next year!” Ian May, Clean Air Power.

    Every year the Pageant features a collection of historic racing cars with ridiculously large engines, such as the 46.5-litre Brutus BMW Aero – in terms of efficiency, this is just about as far from the soon-to-be-launched BMW i3 electric car as you will find.

    New for 2013 at the Pageant was the Wales Rally GB Village, featuring an outstanding collection of current and historic rally cars, most of which also took to the Pageant circuit, ranging from 1980s Audi Quattros to the 2013 Ford Fiesta WRC.

    There was even something for motorbike fans – the Supermoto bikes, with their highly skilled riders, were amazing to watch fly – literally, in some cases – around the circuit.

    As if all that wasn’t enough, there was a MAN TGX truck in the competition this year, driven by its owner David Jenkins, which we couldn’t believe when we saw it powering at very high speed around the 3.5-metre wide circuit – which was only a few inches wider than the vehicle.

    The special thing about the Pageant is that the laps are timed, so there is intense competition to be the fastest vehicle. This year that honour went to the Radical RXC driven by Robbie Kerr, which posted a brilliant fastest lap time of 55.29 seconds. The Caterham SP300R came second by a whisker. In terms of cars that you can buy to drive on the road, the North West-built BAC Mono, which at last year’s event was the fastest car on road tyres, also put up a highly impressive showing at the hands of driver Oliver Webb.


    Oliver Webb with The BAC Mono

    There were just far too many other amazing spectacles at the Pageant such as historic F1 cars and hovercrafts (yes, hovercrafts) to cover in this review, so if you missed the event this year, make sure you book early for the 2014 Pageant of Power. Having seen the event first-hand this year, a number of NAA member companies said that they would definitely be back to entertain their clients or staff at the event next year. If this is of interest to you, then contact Carol Holden or Paul Clarke so the NAA can help you get the best rates.

    “A superb opportunity to network with the added bonus of excellent viewing opportunities, and there was definitely something for everyone. The atmosphere was unique and it was a real pleasure to experience and to be part of this growing North West automotive event.” Carol Holden, NAA.

    See more pictures and video of the 2013 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power at

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham