We love people who love cars and one of the most famous faces out there with a passion for motoring is none other than the ginger one himself, Chris Evans, who is famed for owning a whole fleet of Ferraris among his collection.
As well as being rather fond of cars, Chris also likes doing his bit for charity so last year for the first time he combined the two and created CarFest, a fun family event that brought thousands of enthusiasts together in Hampshire in aid of Children in Need. It was so popular that this year, another event was introduced, CarFest North.
Oulton Park in Cheshire played host to a summer festival with a difference over the first weekend in August, when Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans brought his Children In Need charity event to the circuit.
As the name suggests, CarFest is a festival primarily about cars, which is the main reason I was there. And I don’t just mean any cars. Old Formula One cars, supercars, rally cars, they were all here, grouped in “7’s” to go round the track. TV personality Edd China, from “Wheeler Dealers,” even brought along two of his wonderful creations – the world’s fastest office desk, and a completely road legal garden shed on wheels! The replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was also there, but the highlight of the track show for me had to be Chris’ “Magnificent Seven” Ferraris, all lovingly cared for and looking magnificent round the picturesque circuit.
Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason had brought his gorgeous Ferrari 250 GTO to the show, a truly awesome machine if ever there was one. Aston Martin were also celebrating their 100th birthday, and there was a vast array of different models on show.
The general public were allowed in the paddock and pit lane on occasions throughout the weekend, and it was pretty special to get up close and personal to so many beautiful cars. Chris was also on hand, happy to chat and pose for photos, and various other famous faces were also around, including record producer Pete Waterman and TV baker Paul Hollywood.
Away from the paddock and the track there were lots of cars on display from various clubs, including some old Renault 5’s in pristine condition and even some DeLoreans! There was a Monster Truck display, and there were passenger rides available if you felt like crushing some old cars. And in the Ford Stunt Arena, there was some awesome driving displays by Paul Swift, star of the recent Mazda MX5 viral video and also the man responsible for the stunt sequence at the opening of Britain’s Got Talent.
Paul’s stunt shows are breathtaking to watch – he performs J-Turns at speed, and does a wonderful parking manoeuvre. Speaking of parking, there’s a one in three chance you’ll get asked to do a parallel park on your driving test. Just don’t do it Paul’s way, which involves driving up at speed, using the handbrake and spinning into the space!
One of the highlights of Paul’s shows is the “dance routine” where he performs a choreographed routine to music, in the car – in this case the new Ford Fiesta ST. Joined by two members of his team, who also perform on the Top Gear Live tour, this was a spectacular show of car control and great fun.
The finale to Paul’s show was his party piece, where he drives a standard Ford Focus (with just one modification – a locked differential) on two wheels round the arena. Yes you heard that right, on two wheels. It’s very special!
So all in all, the CarFest weekend was a brilliant festival of all things automotive, and so much more.
CarFest South takes place later this month but tickets sold out within days of going on sale! If you fancy visiting next year, make sure you book your tickets early.