The California Festival Of Speed Is A Celebration Of Porsche
Photography by Erik Ruggels
Southern California is unquestionably the automotive capital of the world, and that occasionally makes for some tough choices. Sometimes there are almost too many events happening simultaneously, but I’m not complaining. This past weekend was no different, and if you’re a Porsche lover it was an exceptionally fulfilling weekend.
Saturday, I opted to head north to Fontana for the 15th annual California Festival of Speed. I’d never attended but it’s a three-day bucket list exhibition for the Porsche petrolisti that I’ve wanted to experience for years. Now held at Auto Club Speedway, the P-car phenomenon hosts time trials, autocrosses, swap meets and parts vendors, concours, club racing, and more. Did I mention it’s free for spectators?
The summer-like year-round weather certainly plays a big part in making Southern California a prime automotive landscape, but believe it or not it does rain on rare occasion. I checked the forecast throughout the week leading up to the event, and things were looking grey. Thunderstorms in the region, much like the projected climate for this past weekend, normally shuts similar events down or at least bring them to a crawl.
Luckily for us, we were spared rain in favor of cool and consistent overcast, plus mild drizzle. Either way, it’d take more than slippery tarmac to shut down this rain-or-shine occasion—real Porsche enthusiasts aren’t afraid to get their cars wet. Speaking of, there were several friends of Petrolicious at the event, including Alexander Bermudez, Bisimoto, and Magnus Walker.
The racing was great fun to watch—reminding me I need to get some more circuit seat time. The paddocks were full of Porsches of all types, but largely 911. Yet, there were a number of surprises including some Datsun Z-cars and a rare stateside Mitsubishi Evolution V. My personal favorite spectacle was the parade lap, displaying everything from a B|B|I Autosport 991 GT3 RS to the earliest air-cooled street cars from Stuttgart.
If you’re a Porsche fan, experiencing the California Festival of Speed is a must. Volunteers run the festival and the organizers are always seeking extra helping hands. If you’re interested in racing your Porsche (or non-Porsche), volunteering, or just wanting to spectate, check out the California Festival of Speed homepage for more details.