2015 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power preview in addition to track guide
Source : 2015 Cholmondeley Pageant of Power preview in addition to track guide
This particular weekend’s Pageant of Power involves a tricky sprint course through the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle. Course record holder Robbie Kerr gives our man some pointers
Ric Wood looks remarkably relaxed for a man who will be about to hand control of a 2003 Opel Astra DTM German touring car to a man he’s never heard of, let alone met.
however here he will be, smiling, in addition to here’s his car, which he bought coming from the works Opel touring car team in addition to which he races mostly in Holland. He won so many races inside UK with the item of which most series kicked him out.
in addition to coming from 12-14 June he’ll be driving the item around the 1.2-mile sprint course at Cholmondeley Castle during the eighth Cholmondeley Pageant of Power.
You could think of the pageant as the north’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Except of which, situated as the item will be not far coming from Crewe, the item’s not so far into the north as to be inaccessible coming from the Midlands or the south. the item’s lower of key, too. A touring car at Goodwood could probably be a current race car in addition to arrive with an entourage of engineers.
This particular Astra will be looked after by a couple of Wood’s employees coming from his engine design business. Don’t think of which the item’s anything less exciting for of which, though. Yes, the item looks like an Astra, however no DTM car in recent history has borne any mechanical relationship with its road-going counterpart.
This particular Astra’s gossamer-thin, carbonfibre-backed skin adorns an ultra-rigid safety cage. When you sit inside near-central driving seat in addition to note of which the Indoor air vent will be beautifully constructed coming from carbonfibre so thin of which the item’s actually opaque, you know you’re inside presence of a real weapon.
Its naturally aspirated 4.0-litre V8 sits long in addition to low under the hood, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. With the restrictors Wood will be allowed to put on the item, he’s looking at an easy 460bhp. of which’s quite a lot in a car of which weighs 1150kg including driver.
Cholmondeley’s 1.2-mile course isn’t the first place I’d choose to use all of of which power, I think to myself as I sit on the start line. the item’s a relatively short course in addition to there are no truly fast corners to scare you, however by gum the item’s narrow.
The start isn’t the widest bit, however seeing the Astra occupy pretty much all of the road will be an intimidating sight. Quite how the item feels to go around here in 55.29sec, as Robbie Kerr did last year in a Radical SR8 will be a feat of which’ll forever remain beyond me.
Still, I’ll pootle around on This particular preview day as quickly as I dare, given the fact of which I’m wearing jeans in addition to no helmet in addition to there’s every chance of meeting a Ford C-Max which has a National Trust sticker inside back window coming the additional way.
The Astra starts on a button to a gravelly 2000rpm or so idle. the item incorporates a foot-operated clutch, a firm, short-travel brake pedal in addition to a long throttle. Engine response will be fast however the clutch manageable, if heavy, in addition to getting off the line will be simple enough.
coming from of which point on, you can forget the left pedal in addition to pull shifts through on the stiff, long gearlever. Back takes you up which has a pop as the ignition cuts for a moment. Down – while you’re firmly on the unassisted brakes – could unsettle the auto if you were truly on the item (I’m not). Racers get most of their braking done first, then punch down the gearbox just as they arrive at the corner, so they can slow as smoothly, in addition to therefore quickly, as possible.
The DTM Astra shares a trait I’ve found in a few racing cars: steering of which’s lighter than you’d imagine. the item’s exceptionally direct in addition to accurate, mind, which has a little feel of which I guess could increase massively with higher speeds in addition to downforce. There’s nowhere on the Cholmondeley course of which allows of which, however even being careful you’ll find yourself going at quite a lick on the straights.
The course will be fun. After two fast straights – the second punctuated by a chicane – there are tricky cambers, elevation alterations in addition to even a yump. the item’d make a not bad sprint course away coming from the pageant.
The beauty of the item will be of which, after the finish, cars in addition to bikes roll back to the paddock without having to retrace their steps, so competitors get three runs per day on Saturday in addition to Sunday, after practice on Friday. With displays on water in addition to inside air, too, the pageant will be a decent spectacle. I recommend the item.
Castle king Robbie Kerr’s track guide
Robbie Kerr set the course record at last year’s Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in a Radical SR8 in addition to will be back This particular year for another go. however the item’s not easy. “You have to be pinpoint accurate the whole way around,” he says, “because the item’s so tight.”
coming from the start, he’s flat out across the bridge (“You’re trying to get square on to the item, however you can’t because the item’s so narrow”) before continuing at full chat down a long, curved avenue. “The camber pulls you left in addition to right a bit, so you’re busy,” says Kerr. He’ll exceed 140mph here.
Under braking, he keeps the auto as far left as possible, sacrificing a bit of speed into the corner to get a clean exit.
Between the first-gear lefts of T1 in addition to T2, Kerr finds time for a squeeze of throttle before “getting a clean, late apex to get a not bad exit”, although “a lot of additional competitors bring dirt onto the track” at the exit of T2.
Then you’d get a heck of a speed up were the item not for a chicane halfway along the next straight. “Last year they made the item tighter,” says Kerr, “however you never quite know how tight the item will be because additional competitors could have given the bales a whack. The risk will be braking too early in addition to not getting enough weight onto the nose to help the auto turn.”
coming from there, the course gets more technical still. Chapel will be an awkward, off-camber left over a crest. “You go so tight to the left of which you scrub the grass on the way up the slope,” says Kerr. “As you come up the rise, you can get not bad turn-in, however the item’s too early. You have to wait, be a bit patient.”
Kerr turns in later, using what looks like a massively imposing tree as an apex. Run wide after the item in addition to you’re in trouble, because “the item’s very slippery by the barrier”.
On our track walk, we can see why: the item’s where a year’s worth of sap in addition to mulch congregates in addition to there’s little opportunity for the surface to be scrubbed clean over the weekend.
“Then you’re trying to straighten the next kink,” says Kerr, adding of which the front of the Radical scrapes the road on its way through. “The right-hand tyres are warm at This particular point,” he says, “however the front left isn’t.” This particular makes braking an issue.
Then the item’s over a table top (“where the rear steps out”), into in addition to out of a first-gear left in addition to flat out, airborne, over the bridge to finish.
The event This particular year will be running under the theme of ‘power on land, water in addition to inside air’.
As well being able to watch numerous high-powered cars producing their way up the famous timed racecourse, visitors to This particular year’s show can also see a special 1000bhp-plus class take part inside action, alongside famous Group B rally cars, 200bhp motorbikes in addition to Formula 1 racers coming from the 1980s.
Each of the event’s three days has been given its own theme. Friday will be dedicated to celebrating Lotus in addition to will feature a special concours event for the British marque, while Saturday will have American muscle cars on the track. Sunday features a host of 1980s supercars, including the Lamborghini Countach 5000QV in addition to Ferrari Testarossa.
Event director James Hall said: “This particular will be the eighth year of which CPOP has been running in addition to we have a lot of exciting elements inside pipeline to make This particular year’s line-up bigger in addition to better than ever.” Around 67,000 people attended the event in 2014, a record number.
Autocar will be reporting coming from the event in addition to you can see more pictures of 2014’s Pageant of Power in our gallery.
The Cholmondeley Pageant of Power takes place coming from 12-14 June at Cholmondeley Castle Garden, Malpas, Cheshire SY14 8AH.
Tickets cost coming from £30 for adults in addition to £5 for children. Buy them at cpop.co.uk
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