California Festival of Speed, and two new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

Saturday morning, April 21 dawned warm and hazy. However, on this morning I would not be making my weekly trek down to Cars&Coffee/Irvine, but would instead be driving out to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California to catch day two of the scheduled three-day “Festival of Speed” event. The weekend was marketed as an “Event for Porsche enthusiasts”, however there were other makes and models of street and race cars also present.

After arriving at the race track, my first stop was at the registration building. After signing the required liability waiver, I was issued a black & white checkerboard wristband (secured onto the left wrist of every participant by the registration staff), and given my parking pass. Now it was time to drive over to the infield parking area that had been designated for the weekends festivities. By now, the sun had begun to burn off the mornings haze, and was starting to bring some heat to Fontana. Exiting my car, I could  hear the unmistakable sound of Porsche race cars with their distinctive exhaust notes echoing off of the grandstands, as they screamed past the start/finish line, beginning another lap.

As I made my way past the entry portal that divides the parking lot from the infield garage area, I noticed a cast bronze plaque mounted onto the vertical support column and went over for a closer look. It turned out to be a dedication plaque honoring  Les Richter, for his contribution to the construction and completion of this racing facility. It also acknowledged his involvement in professional sports with inductions into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Les Richter_Dedication plaque_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21,2012

Now it was time to find out what treasures awaited out in the infield garages…

Gray GMG, Porsche GT3RS_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

First up was this Gray Porsche 997 GT3RS, prepared by the folks from the GMG /Global Motorsport Group.

Gray GMG, Porsche GT3RS_rear fender w/ graphics_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Its stable mate to the left was this black, GMG prepared Audi R8, with what appeared to be a combination of components sourced from Audi’s R8GT3 and LMS parts bin, and powered by a V-10 motor.

Located on the other side of the block wall, opposite the Audi R8 bay, was a bevy of Porsche GT3 Cup cars, all being prepared for the days scheduled events…

Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012A Porsche 996 GT3 Cup car…

Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_with wheels removed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012Khaki colored, Porsche GT3 Cup car_rear wing detail_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Now imagine my surprise when I looked over and saw this black 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0, casually tucked in amongst its GT3 brethren. This is the first and only RS4.0 that I have seen configured for racing, and also marks my 9th GT3 RS4.0 sighting. After I finished shooting the car, all that remained was to discover the series number for this car. A quick look inside, specifically at the cars glove box door ID plaque, revealed this car as being #239 out of 600.

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

O.Z. centerlock racing wheel_Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

 O.Z. centerlock racing wheels…

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing & reflections_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0_motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0 _Carbon fiber air intake_festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black 2012, Porsche GT3 RS4.0 & GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Positioned next to the Black RS4.0 was the “DISCOUNTECHNOLOGY”, 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car, and seeing it in person was one of those deja-vu moments; my son and I had watched this very car compete at Porsches Rennsport Reunion IV back in October at Laguna Seca. Here’s the same car at speed, shot while competing at Rennsport IV (see below)…

Black & Blue Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_with wheels removed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

lue Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_ front view w/out wheels_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Discountechnology Porsche GT3 cup car_centerlock wheel hub and brake caliper__Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

And located just one bay over to the right, was this spectacular blue 2011 997 GT3. This is the only Porsche GT3 that I have seen wearing this particular shade of blue. After shooting multiple images of the car, my interests in this particular GT3 finally caught the attention of its owner, who came over and introduced himself. I soon learned that this particular color  (Aqua Blue metallic), was in fact a very rare color to be seen on a GT3. And apparently the people from Porsche were just as impressed, after seeing the car in person at Rennsport Reunion IV. Because of the rarity of this color being optioned on the GT3 model, the owner was asked by Porsche to put his car on display at Rennsport Reunion IV. The collective belief is that this may be one of the only 2011 GT3’s in North America painted Aqua blue metallic.

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

GMG / WC-GT racing wheel_Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

A very cool set of GMG / WC-GT centerlock race wheels…

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3_motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

My next stop was Garage 2, where I found even more Porsche GT3 Cup cars…

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_rear view of motor_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKEnna graphics_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKEnna graphics_Porsche GT3 Cup car_Truspeed_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_black centerlock race wheel_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_interior shot_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_McKenna graphics_front trunk_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

One of several examples of Porsche brand new 2012 GT3 Cup cars (seen above and below)…

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car #96_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car #96_ front view with torque wrench_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

And one of the largest torque wrenches you’ll ever see; the perfect tool for torquing down Porsches GT3 centerlock race wheels to approximately 340 ft lbs…

2011 Gray and red Porsche GT3RS_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Located outside and parked in the rows between Garage 2 and 3, was this immaculate gray and red GT3RS, with its identical twin parked just off to its right…

Porsche GT3RS red wheel_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2011 Gray and red Porsche GT3RS_ front fender graphics_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche 997 turbo_Meissen blue_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

After making the rounds at the two garages, it was time to check out the vendor row. The blue Porsche 997 turbo seen above was on display courtesy of Walter’s Porsche, and paired with a new black Porsche 991 cabriolet. In talking with the sales rep, I learned that this particular color had been sourced from Porsches 356 color palette, originally available for the 1957 to 1959 models, and known as Meissen Blue.

Black Porsche 991 with door reflection_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Situated down the row from the Walter’s Porsche display, were these seat shells from Lou’s Metal Shaping (phone# -562-201-4658, email – mr_mallet@yahoo.com). These beautiful, hand formed aluminum seat shells are intended for use in Porsche 356 speedsters, 550 spyders, and for Porsche 911 owners wanting an aluminum Scheel seat shell/s for their 911…

Hand formed aluminum seat shells_Porsche 356_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21. 2012

Hand formed aluminum seat shells_911 scheel seat shell & 550 spyder shell_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21. 2012

Hand formed aluminum seat shell_ Porsche 550 spyder seat shell_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21. 2012

By now it was getting close to noon time; time to grab some lunch and something cold to drink. With food, drink and camera in hand, it was time to find a shady place to sit down, eat and get ready for the afternoons PCA (Porsche Club of America) club racing to begin. Fortunately, this track has covered infield seating that sets on top of the pit lane suites, and runs the length of and overlooks pit lane, offering up a great view of the racetrack, especially the start / finish line.

By 1 PM, the first group of cars was unleashed, and the first race underway, complete with an Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo spyder and a collection of Porsche 911’s (see photos below)…

Black Audi R8 V-10_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Red w/ yellow hood Porsche 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder (above), with blue 3M masking tape applied as a protective covering…

Orange Porsche 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Blue 2011 Porsche GT3 & Red w/ yellow stripe hood 911_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

The second race of the afternoon was the Porsche Club of America Club race for the GT2A class. The first two photos below capture the start of the race…

GT2A class, pacing the start_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

In formation, rolling up on the start / finish line, awaiting the drop of the green flag…

Porsche GT3 Cup cars_GT2A class_ accelerating across the start/finish line_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

 Hard acceleration after crossing the start / finish line…

Porsches, three wide_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

2012 Porsche GT3 Cup_blue&black Discountechnology GTR3_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Yellow Porsche 928 & white GT3 Cup_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_APril 21, 2012

2012 Red & yellow Porsche GT3 Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

White # 153 Porsche GT3 RSR_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Black, yellow & white GT3 Cup car_#22_Festival of Speed_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car_#96_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Orange Porsche 993_# 444_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

Discountechnology Porsche GT3_race winner_class GT2A, Saturday race_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Speedway_April 21, 2012

The afternoons GT2A class winner (as seen above), streaking across the start / finish line…

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

After the races concluded, I headed back into the garage area, to make one last pass through before heading home. As I was approaching Garage 1, I saw my friend Eric sitting on his bike, visiting with his fellow racers. I had been looking for Eric and his race car all morning ( a red,1999 Porsche 996 GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car), but had been unsuccessful in locating him. I soon learned that he had been out on track earlier that morning (apparently while I was roaming the garages), thus I missed seeing his time out on the track. Unfortunately, with the summer like weather and high temperatures on this day, his car had begun experiencing overheating problems. Rather than risk catastrophic damage to his motor, Eric made the painful decision to sit out the afternoon race, and was now in the process of trying to locate a new water pump for his car ( believed to be the cause of his overheating problem). Eric pointed me in the direction of his car (parked over behind his trailer), so I could check it out and get some photos. He then rode off into the pit area on his quest to locate a water pump.

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

Red 1999 Porsche GT3 Koni Challenge Cup car_interior view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

After shooting his car, I ran into Eric and his wife, still searching for the elusive water pump. As they headed back to their motor home to cool off from the afternoon heat, I said my goodbyes and was off for one last pass through the garage areas.

Just as I rounded the corner of Garage 1, the back-end of a white Porsche 911 caught my eye. As I headed in its direction, I initially thought it to be a GT3RS. However as I got closer, and was able to make out the graphics, I quickly saw that it was instead a GT3 RS4.0.

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 rear view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_3/4 front view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_rear wing detail_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

White 2012 Porsche GT3 RS4.0_side view_Festival of Speed_Auto Club Raceway_April 21, 2012

Given the rarity of these cars, I’m still amazed to this day that I have seen as many as I have in person, and now this latest encounter brought my total sightings up to ten. The day had presented me with another amazing opportunity to witness not just one but two of these rare GT3 RS4.0’s  (in person and on the same day). I made my way over to the passenger side of the car to get a look at the glove box plaque, which revealed that this car was series # 331 of 600.

Now all I have to do is find one car from the 100 series and 500 series, and I will have  experienced a complete sampling of the entire RS4.0 production range. And who knows what surprises or opportunities await tomorrow morning at Cars&Coffe / Irvine?

(All photos by the author)

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4 thoughts on “California Festival of Speed, and two new Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

  1. Hi, your son pointed me in the direction of this blog (via reddit) and I have to say it’s really great. I think the comment above might be spam though, seeing as this is WordPress, make sure you enable the Askimet plugin to stop that.

    I’m In Australia, but i’m a avid car buff, so I’ve got this blog bookmarked I can’t wait to see more updates! You don’t see cars like these often around these parts!

  2. Wow, that 997 with the Meissen Blue color looks gorgeous. Would love to see an old-school porsche with that color from the 356’s. Great stuff.

    • Check out the canepadesign.com website, as they recently had a late 50’s vintage Porsche 356A coupe with red interior for sale, that was painted Meissen blue.
      Regards,
      Chris

      • What a beauty! What I meant to say, though, was that I would love to see that color on an old-school 911 as well as that 356.
        I also checked out some of their other stuff, and did they seriously put a TV screen in place of the sun visor mirror in that Hummer? That’s rather… interesting, hahah.
        Take care.

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