2014’s California Festival of Speed; Porsche GT3 Cup cars as far as the eye could see and a few surprises…

2014’s California Festival of Speed at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California has come and gone, and what an amazing weekend it was. For me, the anticipation had begun building on Friday, as I checked Instagram postings throughout the day, uploaded by friends already out at the track. The kicker was the video post of Patrick Long ( the sole American Porsche Factory team driver), behind the wheel of a certain Guards Red, 2014 Porsche Turbo S, with the owner recording Mr. Long’s skills behind the wheel.

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 front view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 front view ,drivers side pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Upon arriving at the event on Saturday morning, I ran into the owner of the Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S seen above, and she shared with me her previous days excitement at having Patrick Long behind the wheel of her car, and witnessing firsthand his skill and finesse for piloting a Porsche at speed, all on a cleared track for half a dozen laps. She then opened up the front trunk, revealing Patrick Long’s autograph, applied to the underside of the hood, to commemorate this rare opportunity (see below).

2014 Guards Red Porsche 991 Turbo S_underhood autograph_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

If one 991 Turbo S is good, then a pair is even better. Below, a second 991Turbo S on display, painted in the spectacular Sapphire Blue metallic.

2014 Sapphire Blue metallic Porsche 991 Turbo S_3/4 rear view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2014 Sapphire Blue metallic Porsche 991 Turbo S _nose view on pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Parked directly across from this pair, was another unique Porsche 991 that I have had the pleasure of shooting on multiple occasions. What sets this particular car apart from its 991 brethren, in addition to its aerokit cup package, is its unique color. As I shared in a previous  postng, when the owners picked up their special order model at the Factory this past summer, they were informed that their car was the only Porsche 991 at that time to be painted Riviera Blue.

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_side view pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_rear deck reflections_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

2013 Riviera Blue Porsche 991 w/ aerokit_3/4 rear view with fence shadows on pit row_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

An amazing car from any view… and since I was literally at the entrance to Vendor row, it was time to check out what surprises. My first stop was at Dutchman Motorbikes, where Mark had his latest creations on display.

Dutchman Motorbikes_group shot of display_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Dutchman Motorbikes_detail shot of #73 on display_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Dutchman Motorbikes_Jagermesiter logo on top tube shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Next up was the Porsche Cars North America display, which on this weekend showcased their upcoming Experience Center, currently under construction in Carson, California. First up was the site map…

Porsche Experience Center_overview of test track facility_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

supported by the adjoining narrative graphic (seen below), highlighting the featured areas that will make up the test track portion of the Experience Center. According to the Porsche representatives on hand, the Experience Center is scheduled to open in 2015.

Porsche Experience Center_overview of test track features_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

My next stop was just several displays down the row, and hosted by bbi Autosport. The featured vehicle on display was the GT3 Cup Car that they had prepared for 2013’s Pikes Peak race, piloted by Pikes Peak multiple class winning driver, Jeff Zwart.

bbi Autosport display_GT3 Cup car, Jeff Zwart's Pike peak car_3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi Autosport display_GT3 Cup car, Jeff Zwart's Pike peak car_3/4 front view/passenger side_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

After checking out all of the bbi Autosport goodies, it was time to go in search of my prime objective for the weekend; Porsche GT3 Cup Cars. So off I went to check out the three paddock garages, which would be home to the majority of the Cup Cars throughout the weekend.

As I rounded the corner of the first garage, imagine my surprise at encountering the Porsche seen below.

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 front view at garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Unexpected, and a treat for all, provided by the folks at TruSpeed. One of Porsches most successful race cars of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s; the iconic Porsche 935 twin turbo. And in this case, the recently restored icon, as originally campaigned by the Interscope Racing team out of Newport Beach, California back in 1978.

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 rear view with top of fender reflections _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_dashboard shot thru window _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

TruSpeeds restored,1978 Interscope racing Porsche 935 twin turbo_3/4 rear view with fender reflections _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

But wait, there’s more. TruSpeed had another treasure tucked away in the garage, which Terry Brewer from their sales group was kind enough to show me, and shared that if I was interested, this GT3 Cup was for sale.

TruSpeeds white Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car for sale_3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Parked on the opposite side of the garage was another collection of GT3 Cup cars, all in various stages of preparation, and being readied for an afternoons worth of track time.

Silver & Black #85, Porsche type 997 GT3 Cup car_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

An example of a Type 996 derived Porsche GT3 Cup car, rendered in classic stone gray with contrasting orange accents; a returning competitor from last years event.

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Stone gray type 996 GT3 Cup car_ rear wing strut /  in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Multiple examples of the newer 997 based GT3 Cup cars, as seen below, competing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup series.

Blue discountechnology type 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pair of white Air powered racing  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Black #99 with red mirrors Trefethen winery type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Black and gold mylar wrap # 06, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

white w/red and blue stripe, all star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ front view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Taking its turn on the corner balancing fixture (below).

Werks II # 25 Porsche type 997 GT3 Cup car_ 3/4 front view_on corner balance fixture in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup cars, staged throughout all three of the garages.

white w/red and blue stripe, All Star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ side view in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

A glimpse at a GT3 Cup motor, and its visually dominant horizontal air box…

white w/red and blue stripe, all star # 28  Porsche  type 997 GT3 Cup car_ view of motor _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Spare wheels and Pirelli racing tires at the ready…

Porsche GT 3 Cup car wheels and Pirelli race rubber_tire rack in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Porsche GT 3 Cup car wheels_Wheel details_tire rack in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Driver and team equipment taking a break.

Drivers helmet, clipboard and stop watches on bench_ in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

One of several GMG prepared Porsches; undergoing preparation for its next on track session.

Blue GMG #155, type 997 Porsche GT 3 Cup_rear view  in garage _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

And one of the few, non Motorsports purposed Porsches found in the paddock area; a classic Porsche Junior tractor with trailer…

Porsche Junior tractor and trailer_paddock area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

complete with info plaque.

Porsche Junior tractor_data plaque_paddock area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

My last stop before lunch was out to the trailer parking area in search of a particular Type 996 GT3 cup car; one that I had watched over Instagram posts in the days leading up to the event. The first post documented the car getting its new graphics treatment, while the second was a brief video shot on its return to its trailer, having completed its initial shakedown laps, piloted by its new owner.

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_front view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 front view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 rear view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_rear view /in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_3/4 rear view /roof, fender & wing_in trailer area _California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Classic Porsche Motorsports issue: BBS modular, centerlock racing wheels.

White #997, Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car, with red & black stripes_BBS center lock wheel detail_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

After lunch, it was time to shift my focus towards track related activities. On tap was an afternoon of Porsche Club of America club racing sessions, bbi sponsored time trials and the Pirelli GT3 Cup race.

First up was one of several Porsche Club of America, club racing sessions. From my vantage point, camped out above the viewing area atop pit row, I could watch the different classes stage on the grid, and then be released out onto the track.

Staged and awaiting release onto the track…

PCA club racing series _grid shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

heading out onto the track, prior to the line up for a rolling start.

PCA club racing series _GMG's #155 GT3R entering track_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ Red GT3Cup entering track_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

In formation, and accelerating across the start / finish line; here come the Cup cars…

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _start of first lap_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _start of first lap,  group shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _#496 air powered racing GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Below, a wolf in sheep’s clothing; if you look closely, you’ll see that this Porsche GT3 is not a GT3 Cup car, but instead the next model up on the Porsche competition vehicle list; the GT3 Cup cars big brother, the GT3R. After watching this car turning laps on the track, it became obvious as to the R’s performance advantage over the base model GT3 Cup.

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _GMG's #155 GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

More of the PCA club racing based, GT3 Cup cars.

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _True Course #29 GT3 Cup at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Red, white & black #220 GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _White #336 GT3 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Stone Grayw/orange accents #95_ GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Black #59 GT3R at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

PCA club racing series_ GT3 Cup cars _Gray to white fade #271 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As the checkered flag fell on this PCA Club race, the next event scheduled was the bbi sponsored time trial, and could be seen starting to queue up in the grid area. From my vantage point, perched in the viewing stands above pit row, I could watch the cars and the drivers last-minute preparations, prior to their release onto the track.

bbi autosport sponsored time trial_Porsches queued up on the grid_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

So with the assembled time trial groups release, it was time to focus on shooting some Porsche race cars at speed…

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver Porsche #1 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Black Porsche #91 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Gulf blue and orange #61 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver Porsche GT3 #62 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

In regards to the Type 996 Porsche GT3 Cup car captured below, at the conclusion of the event on Sunday, while checking my Instagram feed, I learned that this Cup car had posted the top time of the day (TTD) in the time trial class. Not bad for this owners first competiton outing with his newly purchased GT3 Cup car. Congratulations Tom…

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _white Porsche GT3 cup car #997 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

bbi autosport sponsored time trial _Silver with blue graphics Porsche 944 turbo #409 at speed_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Once this time trial session had concluded, next up was what would be my last observed race for Saturday afternoon. And what a race to wrap up the afternoon with; the Pirelli GT3 Cup race. Being a huge fan of Porsche’s  GT3 models, and even more so of the GT3 Cup car variants, this race turned out to be one of my favorites of the day.

Below, final staging underway for the last of the Pirelli GT3 Cup races for the afternoon, and Porsche GT3 Cup cars as far as the eye could see.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, overall shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, close up view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars queued on the grid, end of two rows view_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Then with a blast from the grid marshal’s whistle, the Cup cars roared to life and began their single file trek towards the track entrance portal. With a collective roar, the group was off on their formation lap, and by the time all had arrived at turn 20, they were aligned in rows two by two, with the pole sitting Porsche GT3 Cup car (#17) setting the pace. After crossing the start / finish line, #17 immediately began opening up a lead over the second placed GT3.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /start of the race_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

The following images represent a small sampling of the different GT3 Cup cars competing in the Pirelli GT3 Cup car, race #2 on Saturday…

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /white #10 pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track /blue & white #81 pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars on track / black #99 Trefethen Porsche pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white, red & blue , #28 All Star fire equipment Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / blue & gold #65  Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white & blue , #94 justice brothers Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white #03 911 Design Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white & green , #53  J&M Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / silver, black & red , #02  Discount Tire Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / black & blue , #84  Discountechnology.com Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white #23  Porsche GT3 Cup car, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars /black & gold vinyl wrap , #06 CM racing  Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / white, blue& red , #25  Werks II motorsport Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As seen below, the winning Porsche from the PirellI GT3 Cup race #2.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ GT3 cup cars / black with chartrues  green mirrors , #17 Trefethen Porsche, pan shot_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

As I made my way through the garage parking area, headed out towards the Porsche parking corral, a flash of light caught my eye. After stopping to take a closer look, I realized the flash had been created by a reflection, and an interesting one at that. Parked immediately behind the car hauler, was the vehicle generating the reflection and source of the flash; a pristine white Porsche type 997 GT3RS, and a fitting subject for my last photos of the day.

 Car hauler  / trailer rear door reflection_paddock area_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

 Car hauler  / trailer rear door reflection close up_paddock area_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Low key and discreet, with the only hint to the cars true potential being the subtle green graphics, applied onto the lower leading edge of each door.

Pirelli GT3 Cup races_ white GT3RS with green door graphic_California Festival of Speed_4/5/14

Here sat another example of Porsches continued pursuit of excellence; a street car that can deliver race car levels of performance, due to technologies developed from competition, similar to what I had witnessed throughout the afternoon.

I wonder how many Porsche owners as they left the track that weekend, departed with aspirations of racing a GT3 Cup car, or experienced the desire to get involved and go PCA club racing or to compete in time trials. For me, the event evoked memories of my time behind the wheel of a friends Viper Green 2007 GT3RS, and further cemented my resolve to one day own a Type 997 GT3. In the meantime, these experiences have helped me develop a set of benchmarks to use in my quest to enhance the performance of my own Carrera.

(All photos by the author)

Excuse me, do you have the time?

I woke up earlier than normal on Saturday morning, not wanting to arrive late to Cars&Coffee. For the past several weeks, southbound and northbound traffic on the 5 freeway was being redirected around a de-construction zone ( the tearing down of a single freeway overpass). Fortunately, as I approached the 5 freeway, I could see that the south bound traffic was moving, so no apparent delays for this week. As I passed beneath the overpass in question, I could see that all of the northbound structure had been removed; all that remained on the southbound side were the structural steel cross beams, and a lot of sky. Hopefully these remaining beams will be dispatched before next weekend…

Sticking to my original plan and arriving early, I was greeted by an impressive line up already assembled along Porsche row. Located mid way on the row was a car I immediately recognized; the white Porsche GT3 Cup car with red and black graphics, as raced in this years Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by frequent cars&coffee participant Jeff Zwart.

2013 Pikes Peak participant_ Porsche GT3 cup car driven by Jeff Zwart_front view_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

As a result of the sponsorship by Luminox, the dominant graphics element was a watch band that circled the car, from front to back, with the watch face strategically displayed on the roof of the Porsche.

2013 Pikes Peak participant_Porsche GT3 cup car driven by Jeff Zwart_front hood emblem and graphics detail_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

2013 Pikes Peak participant_Porsche GT3 cup car driven by Jeff Zwart_3/4 side view with friends_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

2013 Pikes Peak participant_Porsche GT3 cup car driven by Jeff Zwart_rear view_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

The watch face graphic predominantly displayed, afforded one the perfect line… “Excuse me, do you have the time”?  However, the more I studied the graphic, I began to wonder if the time as indicated ( 10:09:36), and seen below, held any hidden meaning. I guess I’ll have to wait until next Saturday to question Jeff about this particular detail.

2013 Pikes Peak participant_Porsche GT3 cup car driven by Jeff Zwart_roof shot with Luminox watch graphic_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

By 7:30 AM, there was a changing of the guard along Porsche row; the silver 356 that had been parked next to Jeff’s car, departed, and the empty space was quickly occupied by a white Porsche 997 Turbo S, which turned out to be an ultra rare model.

White Porsche 997 Turbo S, Edition 918 Spyder_ 3/4 front view_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

Upon closer inspection, this particular Turbo S was in fact one of Porsches rare “Edition 918 Spyder” models. These cars were to be offered for sale exclusively to the buyers of Porsches 918 Spyder super car, while they awaited final production and the subsequent delivery of their 918 Spyder. Total production of this special Turbo S edition was limited to just 918 examples, which aligned  perfectly with the limited production number for the 918 Spyder.

Externally, the Edition 918 Spyder can be identified by the following details; its acid green “Edition 918 Spyder” door graphics, the small, right side fender mounted, commemorative plaque (as seen below), carbon fiber rear fender air intakes, green accented side mirrors, and the highlighted rear deck lid “S” badging.

White Porsche 997 Turbo S, Edition 918 Spyder_ front fender badge_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

White Porsche 997 Turbo S, Edition 918 Spyder_ Acid green door graphics_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

However, one of the most dominant visual clues was visible at each wheel; the acid green PCCB brake calipers peeking out from behind the black, centerlock wheels…

White Porsche 997 Turbo S, Edition 918 Spyder_ Acid green front brake caliper_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

Hidden from view were several other upgrades created to separate the “Edition 918 Spyder” model from the standard Turbo S model; out back the motor had been modified to deliver 530 horsepower, while the interior received enhancements in the form of carbon fiber accents and upgraded leather surfaces, all trimmed with  acid green stitching.

Seeing this car in person gives one hope for the possibility of seeing a 918 Spyder in person in the not to distant future. According to the articles being published in many of the automotive magazines, the first production 918’s are scheduled for delivery beginning in September. So how long until we see a 918 Spyder on display in person at cars&coffee?

White Porsche 997 Turbo S, Edition 918 Spyder_ 3/4 rear view_cars&coffee_July 6, 2013

Until that time, you can check out a short film that was uploaded July 9th, highlighting one of Jeff Zwart’s 2013 pre-race, Porsche GT3 Cup car shake down runs up Pikes Peak, by clicking here

(All photos by the author)

California Festival of Speed 2013, Part 2; Club racing, vehicle encores and debuts…

Having spent the better part of the morning pouring over and photographing all of the participants and activities associated to the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Porsche 911, it was time for me to pursue another of my photographic passions; the purpose-built Porsche race cars of the Club racing program.

So as I made my way towards Garage 3, out of the corner of my eye I noticed a car up to that time that I had only seen in photos, but never in person until earlier that morning at check-in. Now I was face to face with the car, and ironically it was parked immediately across from the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the 911 display. The car in question belonged to none other than Magnus Walker, a high-profile member of the Southern California Porsche community, recognized collector of early 911s and creator of the Urban Outlaw brand. Now in front of me was the latest project come to life; his 1972 Porsche 911STR #002.

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _3/4 Front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Side view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Magnus’s signature cross drilled and re-chromed door handles..

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Door handle detail_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

The spartan,  911ST inspired interior, enhanced by a vintage Racemark steering wheel…

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Interior shot_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

The very cool, gold satin finished Group 4 PAG 15 wheels mounted up front -15″ x 8″ rims on Hoosier tires (as seen below)…

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Front wheel detail_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

and out back – 15″ X 10″ Group 4 PAG 15 wheels, also on Hoosier rubber.

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Rear wheel detail_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

from the back, even more visible examples of Magnus Walker’s signature details; the Porsche side stripes, louvered rear deck lid, and the custom profiled fender flares (front and rear), complete with integrated 911R inspired tail lights…

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _3/4 rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

The race inspired Porsche graphics installed on the louvered rear decklid, sourced from graphic designer, photographer, Porsche owner and blogger Bob Tilton of werkcrew.com.

Magnus Walker 1972 Porsche 911STR 002 _Rear decklid detail_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Now it was time to visit Garage 3 to see what photographic opportunities awaited…

As I rounded the corner, I caught this silver Porsche GT3 below just as it was pulling back into the Garage area, and in time to watch one of the crew approach with one of the specially designed torque wrenches, specially created for tightening center lock hubs. What I found surprising was the amount of re-tightening that each wheel required. And as the morning wore on, this was a scene I saw repeated by the majority of teams running Porsche GT3 Cup cars. And if I recall, the center lock hubs need to be torqued to approximately 340 foot pounds, thus its overall size in order to generate sufficient leverage, and achieve the required torque setting.

Silver Porsche GT3_re-torquing the wheels_Garage 3_3/4 rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White, blue and fluorescnt green trimmed Context Relevant Porsche GT3 Cup car#96_3/4 front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Silver & black Discount Tire Porsche GT3 Cup car & friends_Side view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Discount Tire Porsche GT3 Cup car & friends_3/4 rear view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Stilo Helmet shot with reflections_ Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

The return and latest iteration of the DiscounTechnology Porsche GT3 Cup car below, which made a similar appearance at last years event…

Blue, Black and white, DiscounTechnology Porsche GT3 Cup car_ Garage 3_3/4 rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

And parked to its immediate left, was this pair of orange 2007 Porsche GT3 RS…

A pair of orange 2007 Porsche GT3RS_#303,#389_ 3/4 front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White with black and yellow striped, James Farrell & Co GT3 Cup car#7_ front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White and yellow Pallis Properties Inc. GT3 Cup car#23_ front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White with red Stella Artois /GMG GT3 Cup car#155_ front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White with Martini Racing stripes GT3 Cup car#89_ front view_Garage 3_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Keeping with the Porsche theme for the weekend, was this beautifully restored Porsche Junior Diesel tractor and trailer, parked outside of the 911 Design hospitality tent (which was located between Garage 3 and 2), which I had watched navigate throughout the parking lot.

911 design display_Porsche Junior diesel tractor & trailer_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Another beauty parked outside of the 911 design tent; a white 911 GT3RS…

911 design display_White Porsche GT3RS_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

And parked immediately to its left, was the centerpiece of the 911 design display: their Porsche 996 GT2 RSR. This is the same car that was featured on the cover of Excellence magazines May 2013 issue, and which was the subject of one of several featured articles.

911 design display_Silver Porsche GT2RSR_3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

911 design display_Silver Porsche GT2RSR_Side view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

A truly unique, highly modified custom one of a kind 996 GT2 from any angle…

911 design display_Silver Porsche GT2RSR_3/4 rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

As I continued through the parking lot, I came across a familiar looking GT3RS 4.0. and upon closer inspection, it turned out to be series # 239, making an encore appearance at this years event. I first encountered this very same car during last years event, and quickly added it to my growing list of GT3 RS4.0 sightings…

Black Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 sighting_#239, 3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

My next stop would be Garage 2… Once inside even more Porsche GT3 Cup cars to experience…

White, blue and dayglo orange lighting bolt graphics Porsche GT3 cup car _garage 2 alignment rack_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Venturing to the north end of the garage, I came across a bevy of GT3 Cup cars from the folks at TruSpeed…

A collection of TruSpeed Porsche GT3 cup cars _garage 2_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Below, the tails of TruSpeed…

TruSpeed Porsche GT3 cup car rear wings_garage 2_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White, blue and yellow striped Justice Brothers Porsche GT3 cup car #94_garage 2_rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White, blue and yellow striped Justice Brothers Porsche GT3 cup car #94_garage 2_3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White & blue striped Zoro Tools Porsche GT3 cup car #81_garage 2_3/4 front view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White & blue striped TruSpeed Porsche GT3 cup car #10_garage 2_3/4 rear view_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White & blue striped TruSpeed Porsche GT3 cup car #10_garage 2_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Red & Black Mothers Polishes Porsche GT3 cup car #45_garage 2_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White, blue & Black Media Sites Porsche GT3 cup car #49_garage 2_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

And for couple of little kids, there was even the opportunity for a thrill ride through the parking lot, courtesy of Continental tire (as seen below)…

Continental tire thrill ride #1_ garage parking lot_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Continental tire thrill ride #2_ garage parking lot_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Continental tire thrill ride #3_ garage parking lot_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

My next destination would be to the east end of the covered seating area overlooking pit row. This additional elevation affords a great view of the cars flying by on the banking, as they approach turn one…

Black Porsche 997 GT3 RS #997 at speed_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Orange 2007 Porsche GT3 RS #89 and silver Porsche 944 # 83 at speed_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Gulf blue and orange Porsche 911 Carrera #61 at speed_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Tangerine colored Porsche 911 race car #511 at speed_California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Black Porsche 997 & GT3 RS _ #270, #997_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

With the queuing up of the GT class cars in the grid area (below), this signaled the completion of the current on track session, and preparation for the next event…

DSC_0501_2

The first lap formation at speed, accelerating from the start / finish line…

DSC_0502_2

Custom blue Porsche 911 by 911 Design_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Porsche GT3 Cup cars_Blackstar & Stella Artois_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Red & yellow Werks II Motorsport_Porsche GT3 Cup car pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

White Porsche 993 race car #9 w/RSR side graphic_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Red Porsche 996 Monroe Consulting Koni cup car#260_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Camo wrapped Porsche GT3 Cup car#44_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Blackstar Porsche GT3 Cup car#373_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Riviera Blue Porsche 911 Carrera race car#117_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Red & Black Mothers Polishes Porsche GT3 Cup car#45_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Easter egg blue Vaillant Porsche 964 race car # 352_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

Porsche GT3 Cup cars # 69,#44_lapping in formation_pan shot _California Festival of Speed_April 6, 2013

At the completion of the cup car event, and as I prepared to wrap up my shooting for the day, I came across this red 991 pictured below, which turned out to be the track escort for the weekends racing events.

Red Porsche 991 , Carrera S with Walter's Porsche.com graphics_Lead car_California Festival of Speed_April 6. 2013

So if this years event, and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Porsche 911 utilized a 2013 991 Carrera S as the lead, escort car, what do you suppose the lead car for next year event will be? Perhaps one of the new 991 GT3’s, since 2014 will witness the return of  a Porsche LMP-1 race car to the 24 Hours of Le Mans?  I guess we’ll just have to wait until next year to find out…

(All photos by the author)

Truspeed’s Timex inspired Porsche GT3 Cup car: “It took a licking and kept on ticking”…

For anyone who was part of the overflow crowd that descended upon Cars&Coffee/Irvine on Saturday morning February 2, most likely the first vehicle you viewed was a yellow and black Porsche GT3 Cup car positioned at the end of the entry driveway, courtesy of the Orange County, CA  based Motorsports shop TruSpeed (www.truspeedmotorcars.com).

As I pulled into the driveway and approached the TruSpeed car, even under low light conditions, I could see what appeared to be battle scars acquired from competition. I then recalled seeing a shot of a similar car from the previous weekends race coverage of the 24 Hours of Daytona, on the Speed Channel. So after parking and grabbing a quick bite, I was off to check out the Porsche race car.

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_3/4 front view with opened doors_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

As I approached, I recognized several friends from TruSpeed’s staff: Terry Brewer from their Sales Department, and Dennis Aase. one of Southern California’s premier Porsche race car drivers, and currently Truspeed’s Racing Manager. ( I first met Dennis back in 1972, while purchasing parts for my 1966 Porsche 911, from his company ( Aase Brothers  Dismantlers), that specialized in used Porsche parts. I also would run into Dennis throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s at the IMSA series races when they came to the west coast.  Dennis campaigned a 2.5 liter Porsche 911 in IMSA’s GTU class ( which can be seen below): his Porsche 911 on pit lane, taken during practice and qualifying for the 1980 Los Angeles Times 6 – hour enduro held at Riverside Raceway.

Dennis Aase #64 Porsche 911 GTU_ 3/4 side view, pit lane_ Riverside raceway_April 1980

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_side view with drivers side opened door_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Now back to the TruSpeed race car…Clearly this GT3 Cup Car had been through a battle, so my first question to Terry was to ask about this car. He verified that it was in fact the Porsche GT3 Cup car that just competed at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and that even with the extensive damage sustained, their car had finished the race in 29th place overall, and 19th in the GT class. While I was shooting the car and talking with Terry, Dennis walked over and joined in on the conversation.

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_Interior shot /drivers side dash_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

The vantage point and office for each of the team’s four drivers, during their respective stints, shared over the duration of the 24 hour enduro (above).

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_3/4 rear view w/missing taillight and heavy collision damage_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Having observed the damage sustained to the entire car (front, sides and rear), I had to ask Dennis about the visible carnage. Dennis proceeded to tell me about the frustrations that the team had experienced and endured (the loss of one wheel at speed, as well as being hit multiple times by their fellow competitors, with one of the last impacts sustained to the rear, causing enough damage to crack one of the rear motor mounts and even bend the red, rear engine support cross-bar (as seen below).

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_engine with damaged red engine mount cross bar support _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car_Interior shot /future driver training session _Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

While Dennis was sharing more details regarding their race weekend, one of the TruSpeed crew members present was briefing a future race driver (seated behind the wheel), on the details and features found within the cockpit of a current Porsche GT3 Cup car (above).

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car__Printed race summary graphic on windshield_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

TruSpeed had even prepared a printed summary sheet, outlining the efforts required and milestones they achieved while competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona race, which was displayed on the windshield (above).

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car__Front view with doors opened and splitter racer taped_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Damaged nose with front splitter bandaged using racers tape (above).

An example of the cars front wheel, complete with racing centerlock hub, Brembro brake caliper, race wheel and tire (below).

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car__Front wheel detail and fender damage_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Truspeed yellow & black # 80, Porsche GT3 Cup car__3/4 side view with raised rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_February 2, 2013

Dennis and I both agreed that even with the excessive amount of damage that had been inflicted on this GT3, it was an amazing testament to Porsches build quality, that the car was able to continue turning laps at racing speed and successfully finish the race. And just like the 1960’s commercial tagline for Timex watches: the TruSpeed Porsche GT3 Cup car “took a licking and kept on ticking”…

(All photos by the author)

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)

Porsche GT3 cup cars, the elusive White GT3 RS4.0, a Scion FR-S and more…

Saturday morning as I pulled into the parking lot at Cars and Coffee / Irvine, and made my way towards the row where I usually park, I was greeted by the lunar eclipse bathed,  silhouettes of two Truspeed Porsche GT3 cup cars parked diagonally in formation, anchoring an all Porsche row. Mixed in amongst the row were several Porsche 356’s , a couple early 1960’s short wheelbase 911’s, a Porsche 924, 914-6, and a handful of 911’s from the 1970’s, ’80’s and 90’s.  And aligned like bookends, opposite the cup cars were two matching speed yellow Porsche 996’s: one a tricked-out 996 GT3 and the other, a 2003 GT2.

Truspeed Porsche GT3 cup cars_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

AutoKennel_ Martini tribute Porsche_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

AutoKennel_ Martini tribute Porsche_front lights_Cars&Coffee/Irvine

Porsche 356A gray coupe_Cars&Coffee /Irvine_12/10/11

White Porsche 993 Carrera 4S_Cars&Coffee/ Irvine_12/10/11

White Porsche 993 Carrera 4S_Cars&Coffee/ Irvine_12/10/11

silver Truspeed speedster_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

White 1970 Porsche 911 w/Martini stripes & trophy_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

White 1970 Porsche 911 w/Martini stripes & trophy_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

White 1970 Porsche 911 w/Martini stripes & trophy_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

Speed yellow Porsche 996's - GT3 and 2003 GT2_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11Speed yellow Porsche 996's - GT3 and 2003 GT2_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

Now back to the two GT3 cup cars…

Car # 45 (below), the Truspeed / Privacy Star Porsche GT3 cup car, is the 2011 World Challenge cup series winner, as driven by Patrick Long, the only American driver with Porsche factory driver status…

Truspeed /Privacy Star #45, Porsche GT3 cup car_2011 World Challenge cup series winner_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

Truspeed /Privacy Star #45, Porsche GT3 cup car_rear wing_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

Truspeed /Privacy Star #45, Porsche GT3 cup car_Cockpit shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11Truspeed /Privacy Star #45, Porsche GT3 cup car_Cockpit shot_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11Truspeed /Privacy star #45, Porsche GT3 cup car_2011 World Challenge cup series winner_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

The car below, the # 29 Porsche GT3 cup car, was fresh from its second place finish at the 25 hours of Thunderhill race the previous weekend. It still wore its acquired patina of race rubber, bugs and dust across its exterior, as evidence of the previous weekends battle. The strange luggage rack looking devices spanning the front hood as I found out, and as were demonstrated, were high output LED light bars, perfect for lighting up a racetrack in the dead of night. These two light bars combined with the headlights and dual sets of driving and cornering lights recessed into the front nose, were more than sufficient for  lighting up a dark racetrack, and getting the attention of the driver immediately ahead on the track.

Truspeed Porsche #29_2nd place finisher_25 hours of Thunderhill race_Cars&Coffee /Irvine_12/10/11

Truspeed Porsche #29_LED Light bars_Cars&Coffee /Irvine_12/10/11Truspeed Porsche #29_LED Light bar_Cars&Coffee /Irvine_12/10/11

Truspeed Porsche #29_LED Light bars_Cars&Coffee /Irvine_12/10/11

After I finished shooting the Porsches, I noticed a crowd gathered around a low black coupe parked in the end space of the smaller perpendicular parking lot.  As I made my way through the crowd, I saw a badge on the nose of the car that read Scion. As I got closer, I recognized the car as the new collaboration between Toyota and Subaru, with the Scion being Toyota’s version.  It also wore some subtle Greddy graphics displayed about the car. The badge on the back identified this car as an FR-S model, although the Subaru model will wear BRZ badging.  Out back, the blue tipped, dual titanium exhaust  dominated the view, framing the rear diffuser panel. After a few minutes, the hood was opened up to reveal a Subaru boxer motor, and a few go fast parts, such as the purple anodized, front shock strut adjustment plates. The car appeared to have been lowered, and was riding on a set of silver Rays wheels, wrapped in 245/35ZR-19 rubber. Given the crowd around this car and the buzz it was generating, it sure looks like Toyota has a hit on its hands…

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

Toyota Scion FRS_Cars&Coffee/Irvine_12/10/11

 

As I was walking away from the Scion, I caught a glimpse of a white Porsche moving through the parking lot. As I got closer, I realized this was the elusive white Porsche GT3 RS 4.0 that I had heard about the previous week, making its way out of the parking lot.

 

 

So far I have been lucky enough to have seen three GT3 RS 4.0’s since October, out of a total of 600 produced. Now only 597 to go…

(All photos by the author)