Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2015 ReviewJune 16, 2015
Based on its name, it’s fair to assume that the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power is all about Power. However once again this year, the cars that set the fastest times in the Supercars and Track Day Cars Class were the most efficient cars, not the most powerful.
The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power is an event that takes place on the Cholmondeley country estate in Cheshire. Although there’s a lot going on in the air, on water, and in the area of all-round family entertainment, the main focus is the sprint circuit. This has been created on the estate’s roads, and a number of vehicles race around the circuit over the weekend with the aim of setting the fastest time.
Although there are different classes – with the Rally Cars class delivering the most exciting spectacle – it’s the Supercars and Track Day Cars Class which is the most relevant and interesting to the general public who may be considering buying a new car.
This is because, unlike most other motorsport events, the Cholmondeley circuit is actually a real-life road, even though it resides on a country estate, so the event is a great test of how your potential new car will perform on the road.
Although some cars in the overall competition do have lots of power, many of these cars are just too big and heavy – or in some cases they’re just too old – to perform well on the Cholmondeley circuit.
So what were the fastest cars in the Supercars and Track Day Cars Class in 2015? Here are the results:
Ariel Atom 3.5 R 59.73
Radical RXC V8 60.09
BAC Mono 61.02
Bentley Continental GT Speed 68.76
Bentley V8S 68.99
Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 69.29
Audi R8 V8 74.83
McLaren MP4 12C 77.13
Ferrari 458 Fail
The table above shows that the Ariel Atom 3.5 R achieved the best time of 59.73, the Radical RXC V8 was just marginally behind with 60.09, and the North West’s BAC Mono was a very close third with 61.02. There was then a considerable gap, but all credit to the very large, heavy and luxurious 6-litre, W12 Bentley Continental GT Speed, coming in at 68.76. Interestingly, the 4-litre Bentley Continental V8S managed almost exactly the same time.
Ahead of exotic machinery such as the Audi R8 V8 and McLaren MP4 12C came the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, piloted by Simon Hucknall, Product & Heritage PR, Vauxhall.
The fastest car in all classes was the Force PC single seater (again with a small capacity engine), with a best time of 58.34. Second and third overall were the Ariel Atom and Radical respectively. Fourth overall was a Husaberg, an enduro bike, and fifth out of all the entries was the BAC Mono.
So, as can be seen, the three fastest cars in the Supercars and Track Day Cars Class are also the three most efficient cars in terms of their lightweight design. Having driven a wide variety of cars on the Pageant circuit, ranging from a Caterham Seven to a Jaguar F-Type V8 S, your Green Car Guide Editor can verify that lightweight, efficient, agile cars are the ones you want to drive.
One other car that handled the Pageant circuit in a highly impressive manner was the new Ariel Nomad – effectively an ‘off-road Ariel Atom’. This sneaked into the Rally Cars class – along with the Range Rover Sport SVR – presumably because all cars in this class had one thing in common: they were able to deliver performance and thrills for the crowd regardless of the surface they were driving on. The Ariel Nomad came 17th overall with a best time of 66.96 – beating the Bentleys.
So, what about the future of the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power? It’s frowned upon to say that the Pageant is a ‘Northern Goodwood Festival of Speed’. However we think this is a smart comparison to aim for. The Festival of Speed, and the Moving Motor Show, is a huge success, and it obviously has the formula right. Cholmondeley is more than a four hour drive North of Goodwood, and there is a huge population within an hour and a half of Cholmondeley, so there’s no reason why the Pageant can’t attract a large, more Northern audience.
To attract greater numbers of visitors, and so greater support from car manufacturers, the Pageant of Power should take things to the next level in 2016, getting more modern, aspirational and entertaining cars that the public can buy onto the track, replacing some of the older, slower, less entertaining cars and motorbikes if needed, and that way we can find out which cars on sale today can genuinely handle themselves on real roads.