As ever there was a great line-up of music across the festival weekend:
Friday: ABC (Lexicon Of ABC Martin Fry), Texas, The Darkness, Jools Holland, The Lionels, The Proclaimers and Will Young.
Saturday: Alison Moyet, Anoushka Shankar, Brighouse & Rastrick Band, Foxes, James Morrison, Richard Ashcroft, Rick Astley and the Stereophonics.
Sunday: The Alarm, The Feeling (featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor), Jamie Lawson, Ronan Keating, Squeeze, Status Quo, and The Military Wives Choir.
A dazzling array of performing cars was right at the heart of the day time CarFest show and, ringing in the changes, this year’s high-octane track sprint show was split into two equally eye-catching sections. First up the ‘Time Tunnel’ took festival-goers on a magical evolutionary journey of motoring history from early Edwardian pioneers to some equally inventive futuristic treats. Highlights included James Martin and his new Porsche 911 GT-3 (one of the first off the hallowed Stuttgart production line), two of last season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race cars, the 2015 Pikes Peak prepped Jaguar F-type as well as Chris Evans’ own Famous Five vehicles.
The second ‘Xtreme’ phase of track action stepped up the pace with dramatic displays by the Red Bull Racing Formula One team (piloted by former Grand Prix racer Patrick Friesacher), plus the Top Gear Live Stunt Team led by Paul Swift. There were plenty of crowd-pleasing donuts, burning rubber and flame spitting engines.
Other highlights included a 1904 chain-driven Maudlsay, the restored Babs land speed record breaker complete with its flame-spitting 27-litre V12 Liberty aero engine and a Ferrari F40, the world’s first 200+mph supercar.
As ever, Jody Scheckter himself was to the fore on home soil, the 1979 title winner taking the chance to blast several of his F1 winning cars up own his farm drive as well as a new acquisition, a 1956 Porsche tractor.
The Red Arrows flew over the Hampshire skies once more putting on a precision display.
New for 2016 was the CarFest RoastFest, the Cooking Theatre, the Cake Sale and more. There was also the popular Best of British tent.
The new Food Fair Kitchen was a big hit & got hot and steamy with celebrity chefs including James Martin, Tom Kerridge, Angela Hartnett and Joanne Wheatley cooking up a storm. Plus, there were guest appearances in the form of Giant Vegetables, not to mention their 9 stone marrow.
ShedFest was new for 2016 – 15 families transformed a plain shed into their ideal shed over the weekend. Top picks included a disco-dancing shed, a rabbits den (the winner) and one totally inspired by the seaside (with sand and ice-creams to boot!).
The CarFest team, along with Pudsey ran the fun run course in aid of BBC Children In Need.The Great Festival Dash was open to camping ticket holders only and took place at 10am on Saturday 27 August.
Best of all the event raises money for BBC Children in Need. The CarFest Festivals have raised over £6.7million over the past four years and this year helped raise thousands more.
Chris Evans said: “I know we’ve said it before and I hope we’ll say it again, but these CarFests just get better and better and better. I just had a crazy idea one morning and now five years on, thanks to so many wonderful people, the reality has wowed hundreds of thousands of CarFesters and raised many millions for BBC Children in Need. What’s not to like about that… other than the fact we have to raise the bar even higher in 2017!”