It isn’t often that my day job overlaps with PetrolBlog. In fact, I’ve deliberately kept the two things separate. The day job is a means that allows PetrolBlog to function, with PetrolBlog itself delivering a nice distraction away from the real world.
But sometimes it’s impossible to draw a definite line between the two. So when I was asked to get involved with the initial planning and marketing of the inaugural Pentillie Festival of Speed, I knew it would be of interest to PetrolBlog readers too. So, obligatory notices of my indirect involvement with the event out of the way, let me tell you more about it.
For some time, I’ve believed that the south west of England needs an event that’s similar in nature to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. I’ve resisted the urge to say ‘rival’ to the FoS as the south west doesn’t have the location to hold such an event. Goodwood is an evocative venue that’s dripping with motorsport heritage. There’s quite simply nowhere else like it on earth.
But that isn’t to say there’s no room for an event that champions the thrill of driving and puts motorsport at the centre of proceedings. And if the good folk of Pentillie Castle have anything to do with it, the Pentillie Festival of Speed could be just that event.
The foundations are good. To start with, they have a wonderfully majestic venue with which to host the event. Pentillie Castle is a grand and imposing country house with far reaching views across the valley. It also happens to sit on the banks of the River Tamar and has 2,000 acres of woodland and parkland that line the banks of the river for two miles. What’s more, it’s relatively easy to get to, being just a few minutes drive from the A38 and only half an hour from the A30 that runs through the heart of Devon and Cornwall.
So the venue is good, but what about the event? Although petrolheads like nothing more than meeting up simply to chat about cars, it would hardly be a festival without other things going on.
Central to the event, which incidentally takes place over the August bank holiday weekend of the 25th and 26th, is a hillclimb that’s being run by the Plymouth Motor Club. Under MSA conditions, the hillclimb will start from the banks of the Tamar and rise up through the woodland, past the Castle and to the finish line. A total of one mile. It promises to be quite a spectacle and a formidable challenge for the drivers.
Other events being planned include a chance for visitors to ‘drive the hill’ under MSA conditions, a display of fine and classic cars, a 4×4 course being run in conjunction with Westcountry Land Rover Experience and Roger Young, plus a giant Scalextric. More events and displays are being planned all the time.
From a personal perspective, I hope the festival is a success. It would be good to have an event of this nature in the south west. From experience, I know that the majority of good motoring events happen up country, so something local will be (perhaps selfishly) well received.
The festival is still in its early stages of development, but it’s worth visiting the website at www.pentilliefestivalofspeed.com and signing up for more information. There’s also a handy twitter feed @PentillieFOS, which sadly I won’t be tweeting from!
Naturally, PetrolBlog will be there in August and a full report will be written after the event. I’ll also try and write a preview at some point closer to the event.
Thinking about it, how about a @DawnRefuelling run to the event? Now THAT could be interesting…