The California Festival of Speed is hands-down one of the most underrated events in California, if not the nation. Now in its 16th year, it is the maybe best place to see some of the world's fastest and most stylish (and not necessarily mutually exclusive) Porsches of nearly every model, spanning generations. And most of them spend as much time going fast as they do looking stylish, thanks to the Auto Club Speedway venue and its infamous "roval" half oval and infield course.
A joint production between the Porsche Owner's Club and the Porsche Club of America, the California Festival of Speed is the best place to run your weekend 911 alongside a bunch of its siblings, see how quickly your new Cayman GT4 can lap the Cal Speedway infield, shake down the team's European ADAC-series enduro machine, or just ditch your daily Jetta in general parking and ogle over dozens of clean, modified Porsches in the car corral or vendor alley (we kid!)
Practice sessions and sprint races persisted along the Cal Speedway roval course throughout this year's three-day event, in various run groups accommodating every Porsche model and vintage, and level of driver skill. Standouts included some vintage IMSA 911s, plenty of thoroughly modified and fast NASA/SCCA club racers, and even state-of-the-art machines like OC-local GMG Racing's no. 14 Porsche 911 GT3 R Pirelli World Challenge contender.
Porsche drivers are generally a little older, more experienced. and less reckless than, say ... drivers of Honda or Nissan weekend track machines. Thus, they're trusted to run side-by-side with each other in cars with widely varied power levels and states of tune, and even to adhere to caution rules while emergency vehicles and personnel are on track.
But that's not to say things don't still get a little hairy. It's just a little more cringe-worthy when they do.
One of the most accommodating aspects of Auto Club Speedway for racers (and one of the most fun for fans) is its pit garages. Parking and wrenching on your car in a cool, shaded garage is infinitely more comfortable than doing so in a hot, trackside parking lot, and fans will have a great time checking out those cars and the people who build them all in one place.
And if racing isn't exactly your thing, you'll find plenty to hold your attention in vendor alley and the car corral.
There's no doubt Porsche owners, racers, and fans rolled away from this latest three-day installment feeling fulfilled, and you can be sure the planning stages of year 17 are already in the works. Until then, check back in a few weeks when we bring you coverage of Luftgekuhlt, the West Coast's largest air-coolest Porsche meet, and plenty more of Germany's best exports, all year long.
See our full gallery from the event below, and for more specific info from the event, including lists of race entrants and results, visit the California Festival of Speed page on the Porsche Club of America website.