The Velocity Invitational and lifestyle event will be held at WeatherTech Laguna Seca this weekend from 11-14th of November. Held by the team behind the Sonoma Festival of speed, more than 275 of the worlds greatest vintage and modern racecars will descend on the famous racetrack. Headlined by an exhibition of historic McLaren Formula 1 race cars by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen. Alongside the event, plenty of fine wine and food will be flowing for racegoers and spectators.
In many ways, you could think of it as California’s own Goodwood festival of speed. Building upon the success of the Sonoma Festival of Speed in 2019, an event that drew thousands of spectators, over 300 race cars. Let’s check out some of the cars on show.
Headlining the weekend will be McLaren Racing, bringing a number of their most successful Formula 1 cars to the circuit to remind today’s fans just how good the old stuff sounds, including;
- 1998 MP4/13A chassis number 2 (David Coulthard/ Mika Hakkinen), Australian GP winner.
- 1998 MP4/ 98T, a two-seat Formula 1 car that will take fans on demonstration laps.
- 2011 MP4/26A (Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button).
- 2012 MP4/27A (Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button).
That’s not all! A number of uber-expensive Ferrari race cars will be competing in wheel to wheel racing such as;
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB – Price Guide $10-20 million
- 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO – Price Guide $44-60 million
- 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO – Price Guide $70 million
A number of other manufacturers are involved in helping sponsor the event, and we’ve ticked off a few more of the best cars on show this weekend below.
An exhibition of Porsche 917 racecars, including the Porsche 917/30 that dominated the 1973 can-am season. Diehards will remember the 917/30’s famous twin-turbo, 12-cylinder engine that produced a stonking, and frankly terrifying, 1100HP. A number of purpose-built prototypes will also grace the paddock including 962 and 962C that originally debuted at Le Mans, securing a victory in 1987.
Over a dozen factory prepped and independently built Porsche 911 RSRs and IMSA GTO RSR’s from 1966 to 1977 will compete on the track. A number of late 1960s cars will be in appearance as well, think 908 and 910.
Amongst the myriad of Porsches and McLarens, a handful of the best Fords on the planet will strut their stuff on the track, including seven of the eight Ford GT LM GTE Pro race cars. Race-winning cars in their own right will be on display inside the paddock and host demonstration runs at track speed with racing driver Joey Hand (Le Mans 24hrs class winner, 2016) behind the wheel.
“From the legendary cars that came out of Carrol Shelby’s shop in the 1960s to the modern-day Ford GT LM GTE Pro car which took a class victory at Le Mans in 2016, we will have some of the marques most revered cars in the pits and on the track this year. This is sure to be a sight no Ford fan will want to miss,” said Velocity Invitational founder Jeff O’Neill.
The Ford GTs compete for four seasons (2016-2019) in both IMSA and FIA World Endurance Championship. Most famous was the vehicles class victory at Le Mans 2016, some 50-years after Ford’s first win at Le Mans in 1966. Other notable victories include back to back Rolex 24 at Daytona IMSA GTLM wins in 2017-2018.
We’re absolutely frothing over Carroll Shelby’s 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, known as ‘the secret weapon’. Built specifically for the 24 hours of Le Mans and just 1 of 6 Daytona Coupes ever built, it’s a special vehicle and will be racing wheel to wheel with eight genuine Shelby Cobras. Other notable additions include iconic Ford Mustangs such as the Shelby GT350, the 1970 Mustang Boss 302 Trans-Am (Parnelli Jones) and even an original Ford GT40 will be taking part in the event.
Food and Wine
Not just a spectacle of beautiful vintage and modern racecars, Velocity Invitational brings together luxurious food and wine offerings to the table from some of the region’s greats. While remaining a family-friendly event at heart, catered cuisine and food trucks will offer the very best quick bites, while the Pavillion will feature select wine, spirits and Champagne, including live entertainment throughout the weekend.
Sip and Savour Pavillion will have an offering of wine tastings thanks to Taylos Farms, provided by labels such as Robert Hall and Bernardus. Excellent views of the racetrack are a given, with seating located right on turn 3. Guests 15 years and younger get free entry when entering with an adult. Active military will get free entry on Friday, November 12 in honour of Veterans Day.
Tickets can be secured via the link below.
The full Velocity Invitational event schedule is found here.