Yesterday I drove through the Kingsway tunnel near Birkenhead, trying to make as much noise as possible while an Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, in the opposite lane, tried to do the same. At speed. And it was all completely legal.

It was part of a planned tunnel run event, dubbed the 'noise off', to celebrate the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, which takes place this weekend and which Autocar will be reporting from (you can read our full preview here). It was also designed to showcase a large area of docklands that is being redeveloped to form a motoring industry hub as part of a £4.5 billion regeneration project.

It would be hard to judge just what the people of Birkenhead thought when they discovered that half of one of their busiest tunnels had been closed this afternoon to allow a rabble of rowdy supercars through. Still, it didn’t half create a scene. 

The theme was tied in to the World Cup, with an Italy versus Britain competition to see who makes the best sports cars. British models like the Bentley Continental GT V8 S, McLaren 12C spider and 650S Spider, Aston Martin Vanquish and our own long-term Jaguar F-type V6S would be facing off against the best that Italy had to offer. And they had a lot, with a Ferrari 599 GTO, Lamborghini Aventador roadster, Lancia Delta Integrale and the aforementioned 8C Spider all lining up for the off.