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Sonoma Speed Festival features cars and cuisine


We’ll list them and you can pick your favorite, but they were all there this past weekend at the inaugural three-day Sonoma Speed Festival at northern California’s Sonoma Raceway.

The cars taking part included a trio of Ferrari 250 GTOs, four ex-John Wyer Gulf Racing cars, a pair of Ford GT40s, the Lotus Type 77 formerly raced by Mario Andretti, one of only 10 McLaren F1 GTR Longtails, the 2016 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motosport F1 W07/04 Formula One car and around 300 other vintage racing cars.

Sonoma Speed Festival, Sonoma Speed Festival features cars and cuisine, ClassicCars.com Journal
One of the rare and expensive Ferrari 250 GTO leads a Shelby GT350 Ford Mustang in their race group 3

Driven by F1 team test driver Esteban Gutierrez, the W07/04 did demonstration laps, including the fastest ever over the raceway’s full course, a 1:15.430 circuit (while the fastest lap, it was done in an exhibition, not in a competitive event). 

“The inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival was a great success,” Ryan Turri, the festivals general manager, was quoted in the post-weekend announcement. “We’ve exceeded our expectations in almost every way, and we’re thrilled with the experience we were able to provide for our guests and participants.”

“One of the primary goals of the event is to connect the beauty and sophistication of the wine country to an event that is spectator and participant friendly while showcasing the best aspects of Northern California,” festival organizers added.

Sonoma Speed Festival, Sonoma Speed Festival features cars and cuisine, ClassicCars.com Journal
Joe Calleja’s 1952 Allard J2X (11) chases Nick Price’s 1953 Jaguar C-type in race Group 1

In addition to the action on the track and the cars showcased in the display paddock, the event featured a Sip & Savor Pavilion featuring California wines and products of the state’s distilleries and a Food Park offering gourmet food and chef demonstrations.

A RADwood display featured cars from the 1980s and ’90s and Gooding & Company’s Driver’s Lounge provided a relaxation area for vintage racers with a view of the track. 

BringATrailer hosted an Alumni Gathering with more than 75 vehicles bought or sold through its website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


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