RECORD breaking crowds braved the rain to witness the action during the biggest and best Chomondeley Pageant of Power event to date.
The UK’s biggest celebration of power and speed proved a massive success despite the wet weather say organisers, with more race cars and supercars, more motorcycles, more helicopters, more powerboats, and more interactive features packed in to the three-day event
The on-track action was the centrepiece, alongside a packed schedule of timed sprints and parade runs taking place on the venue’s 1.2-mile circuit. A new lap record of 61.89 seconds was set by a Caterham Superlight SP/300, with the local BAC Mono winning Top Gear’s Super Car Class.
The four-wheeled machines were an eclectic mix of classic and modern.
The noisiest, if not quite the fastest, of the 100 or more vehicles that took to the challenging circuit, was the weird and wonderful collection of early 20th century cars powered by aeroplane engines, with the monster 500bhp 47-litre ‘Brutus’ taking centre stage.
The Pageant also featured a large selection of modern and classic supercars during the many laps throughout the weekend, including the stunning Aston Martin One-77 – one of only five registered in the UK – and the beautiful race-inspired Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Fans were left shaken and stirred by the thrilling line up of James Bond cars.
Pageant organisers partnered with the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, to display the collection of genuine Bond cars.
The show featured the vanishing Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day, complete with its twin 50-calibre autocannons, rocket projectiles, dorsal target-seeking shotguns, and a passenger ejector seat. Also on show were the Jaguar XKR and Ice Dragster driven by Bond-villains Zao and Gustav Graves in Die Another Day, and the beautiful BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic AC Cobra, the Pageant hosted one of the largest gatherings of the Anglo-American sports car in the UK, in a special display entitled ‘Cobras at the Castle’. The event introduced a special race category – the ‘AC Cobra 50th Anniversary Class’ – which saw the most famous Cobras, including one of only three ‘Lightweight Cobras’ ever built, compete for top race honours.
This year’s event was also more interactive than ever, with members of the public having rides in helicopters, powerboats, hovercraft and even tanks.
The event also featured more in-field activities than ever before, with attractions ranging from a Top Gear Experience simulator and mini tank-driving arenas, to Segway hire, quad biking and assault courses.
Event director James Hall, said: “There is simply no other event in the whole of the UK that is so packed with action – on land, on our lakes and in the skies above – and which has so much for visitors to experience first hand.”