Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 - Review

Of the many historic car events to be launched in recent years (encouraged, no doubt, by the twice-yearly happenings in West Sussex), the Pageant of Power – now in its third year – is surely among the best. And the most successful: more than 50,000 visitors flocked to Cholmondeley on 17-18 July to enjoy the spectacles on track, in the air and on water.

Among the highlights of the 2010 event were the aerobatic exploits of the Breitling Wingwalkers, a Spitfire flypast and a fabulous display of Bentleys, including the 2003 Le Mans-winning Speed 8.

But it’s the automotive action that lies at the heart of Cholmondeley’s attractions. According to the organisers, in this respect it was the world-famous Donington Collection that “stole the show, with the Auto Union and Vanwalls stunning the crowds with speeds belying their vintage”. Then there was the Brutus from the Sinsheim Museum in Germany, powered by a 47-litre (yes, forty-seven litres) BMW aero engine from a WWI fighter aircraft… and much more besides. “I calculated that we must have had over half a billion pounds’ worth of machinery here this year,” said Event Director James Hall, “including the Hermes 135 Eurocopter.”

On the competitive front, Niki Faulkner set a new course record in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, which beat strong opposition (including Grand Prix, Le Mans and Touring cars and even a 2010 world superbike) by completing the twisting 1.3-mile circuit in 62.68 seconds – two seconds quicker than the previous best time.

Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 - Review Cholmondeley Pageant of Power 2010 - Review

Meanwhile, the Firework Concert on Saturday night “provided all the pomp and circumstance of the Last Night of the Proms”, with a Lynx helicoper flypast to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and firing of the Royal Artillery field guns to accompany the 1812 Overture.

And via a link from Afghanistan, the concert-goers were poignantly addressed by Lt Colonel Andrew Hadfield, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment.

We’re told that plans are already being put together for next year’s Pageant of Power.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Lawrence Clift Photography / Cholmondeley Pageant of Power

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