This year’s Cholmondeley Power and Speed (CPAS) has been a huge success with enormous visitor numbers through the gates thanks to an action-packed programme of content on land, air and water.
The three-day extravaganza included the first running of Motorshow Live! – Cholmondeley’s ride and drive event – a supercar celebration headlined by the amazing Ferrari FXX, a beer, food and comedy festival, aerial acrobatics thanks to the G-EWIZ Muscle Biplane, not to mention superbikes, Group B rally cars and pre-War behemoths.
This incredible line-up of content really brought in the crowds with Cholmondeley Power and Speed 2016 recording a gate of over 40,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.
Running for the duration of Friday morning, Motorshow Live! saw the Cholmondeley track given over to manufacturers and dealers, allowing them to offer test drives to guests and VIPs in their latest models.
Taking to the famous course were Lexus in the rapid RC F and GS F, Holdcroft Honda with the Civic Type-R hot hatch, Holdcroft Nissan with the LEAF EV, BlueBell BMW in the BMW M4 Convertible and Oakmere Motor Group, with the Lotus Evora 400, Exige Sport 350, Caterham 620R and Morgan Aero 8.
Throughout the weekend, visitors could feast their eyes on a full range from Lexus, Honda, Nissan, Lotus, Caterham, Morgan and BMW at stands located in the infield.
With one of this year’s major themes being Supercars: Past, Present and Future, Saturday saw the arrival at Cholmondeley of the star of the show, one of the most remarkable supercars of all time, the Ferrari FXX.
A race-prepared version of the legendary Enzo, the FXX is incredibly rare with only 30 made, all of which were meant to be track-only cars. Appearing at Cholmondeley was the only road-legal version – and it thrilled crowds, its ear-splitting V12 howling around the course.
The FXX was joined by a host of other head-turning supercars, with the Gumball 3000 crew causing a stir in a Mercedes AMG GT3, K-1 Attack and an Aston Martin Vanquish, while a pack of thoroughbred historic supercars – including the Ferrari Daytona and Lamborghini Countach – also took to the track.
Two-wheeled highlights included a 1959 Vincent Ts Viscount and a 1961 Norton Manx and demonstrations from the highly skilled Supermoto UK riders.
A concours was also hosted by Cheshire Classic Cars, with Best Presented going to Rob Woodall’s Ford Mustang Convertible, Judges’ Choice going to Jane Weitzmen’s Toyota 2000GT and the Peoples’ Choice being awarded to Ron Pearson’s Ferrari 458 Italia. Overall Best of Show went to Keith Ashworth’s Mercedes 300SL Roadster.
On Saturday evening, the event hosted its first ever comedy festival. Stand-up comic Adam Rushton compered the event, which was opened by Duncan Oakley, a regular on the festival circuit, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
BBC Radio 4 regular JoJo Sutherland continued the entertainment before BBC Jesting About regular Rahul Kholi took to the stage. The night’s headline act was Ray Peacock who has appeared on Skins, Dr Who, Not Going Out and Russell Howard’s Good News.
While watching the stand-up show, visitors could enjoy food from a selection of specialist stalls and artisan suppliers from wood fired pizza, Mediterranean and traditional English to Thai, Japanese and Tapas. In addition, Hook Norton Brewery hosted a beer festival with a selection of over 20 craft beers and ciders from local micro-breweries.
Throughout the weekend, rib rides entertained crowds by the lake and scramblers showed off their skills on the off-road circuit and, in the skies, the Muscle Biplane G-ewiz performed an incredible display on Saturday and Sunday, hovering like a Harrier and performing double-hammerheads, complete rolls and even flying backwards.
Out on the track, it was the Ariel Atom 3.5, driven by Niki Faulkner, which got the fastest lap of the weekend with a time of 60.98 secs. He took the prize for post-‘66 competitors. For pre-‘66, it was Keith Fell in the Lotus Elan 26R who was quickest, with a time of 73.79 secs.
The most consistent car of the weekend was the Nash Healey, driven by Steve Graham, who received the regularity car award, with Ben Luke on the GG Quadster claiming the award for the most consistent motorcycle.
All four of these winners received a Zenith El Primero from Cholmondeley Power and Speed partner Zenith Watches.
James Hall, event director said: “Despite it being a damp weekend, It’s been a fantastic occasion, with some incredible content and a number of firsts for the event. We’ve been delighted with the success of our inaugural Motorshow Live! while the beer, food and comedy festival was a wonderful added element.
“We’d like to thank everyone involved in making this year’s event such a success and look forward to welcoming competitors, visitors and exhibitors alike back to Cholmondeley Power and Speed in 2017.”
Some words from key sponsors, partners and personalities:
Catherine Hurst, Head of Marketing, Brown Shipley: “It’s our second year at Cholmondeley and it’s been even better this year than last year. We’ve had a fantastic time with our co-sponsors, Lexus and Zenith, who have just been amazing. The whole team at Cholmondeley has been amazing and together with the second-to-none catering from Horseradish our clients have had a wonderful time. As a business we’re just so glad we did this sponsorship.”
Rebecca McDermott, Regional Brand Director North and Central Europe, Zenith watches said: “It was fantastic to be at Cholmondeley Power and Speed and officially list the times of the competitors. With such a challenging track and mixed conditions, the skills of the drivers and riders were there for all to see. We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part over the weekend, particularly the four winners who each received our El Primero watch. The Zenith stand at the Brown Shipley area was well attended throughout the weekend and it was fantastic to share our brand with a very knowledgeable and enthusiast audience.”
Jonathan Jarrett, md of Oakmere Group: “Every year, Cholmondeley is the event that we look forward to most. The collection of cars from collectors, owners and manufacturers is fantastic and everyone who attends is a real enthusiast. Because of that, we always put a lot of effort into our stand, by bringing the cars that we think we really attract the interest.
“This year we’ve had a fantastic show. Motorshow Live! on Friday morning was a great success with over 100 test drives on the track. It has been amazing to demonstrate our range of British sports cars in the right surroundings. We’ve sold two cars this weekend.
“The track itself is fantastic to drive, extremely challenging yet so picturesque. There’s very little margin for error and it’s really rewarding. There’s just so much passion here that everyone just gets drawn along with it.”
Nikki Faulkner, driving the Ariel Atom, was fastest of all over the weekend with a time of 60.98 secs: “I’ve come to Cholmondeley pretty much every year since it first started, and I’ve seen it get bigger and better. The vibe is fantastic, with a great mix of racing cars, rally cars and bikes. Everyone has lots of passion and it feels laid back – it’s easy to get around and see everything. The track itself is very challenging.
“You have to know it to go quick on it. It’s quite bumpy and narrow, there are trees to avoid and hay bales, a big jump at the end…it’s certainly got character and it’s a real test of the car. You have to learn to adapt very quickly because the grip level changes through the weekend. I’m lucky to have been here so many times and I’ve got a great car in the Ariel Atom, one of the best cars in the UK, so light and fast, with sensational handling.”
Victoria Thorley, General Sales Manager, Honda Holdcroft: “It’s our first year at Cholmondeley and we’ve had a fantastic time. The customers have really enjoyed visiting our stand and looking at our range of models. The new Civic Type-R has proved a huge hit, we did customer drives on the Friday at Motorshow Live! and I have to say that the experience was very successful. Customers loved driving the car on the track – quicker than they can on the public road! All our customers are over the moon.”
David Haynes, Nissan Holdcroft: “Cholmondeley is a well-run event with something for everybody from hardcore petrolheads to the regular man in the street who wants to look at a range of cars. The site is very well situated and it’s a well-run family day out. Motorshow Live! on the Friday and the traction action throughout the weekend has meant it’s been an active and progressive couple of days for us with a great atmosphere.”