If the weather for this two-day event (Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22) was any indication of how successful this Coronado Speed Festival would be, we knew we would be in for a tremendous treat of competitive racing. But, the main reason for this year’s overall success is based on a lot of coordination between a wide variety of entities, including the Naval personnel who manage the Coronado Naval Base; the Coronado Speed Festival Committee; the Historic Motor Sports Association (HSMA) and their staff; our sponsor—Porsche of San Diego; and all those PCA-SDR and Navy-based volunteers that helped out prior to and during this “Race at the Base” weekend. And, since the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 was the featured “Marque”, an additional layer of coordination was necessary for those club members who were going to display their 911 vehicles in a corral area next to the entry grid. It would be no easy task to pull this all together, even under the best of circumstances! But again, Katie Kinninger, our club’s Vintage Racing Chair and this year’s Event Coordinator, with additional coordination assistance from John Bell, very successfully accomplished this Herculean task.
This coordination allowed all of us PCA-SDR members, family, and friends who had the opportunity to attend to be thoroughly entertained watching the vintage car racing presented by the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) from our spacious trackside tent in this 16th running of the Coronado Speed Festival at North Island Naval Air Station. Better yet, some PCA members actually participated in the 10 amateur competition groups, with over 235 vintage cars racing around the 1.7-mile course, including about two dozen Porsches. And, again, this year, Group 10 included about 24 cars racing in an SCAA Pro Racing Playboy-MAZDA MX-5 Cup Race to make this Speed Festival even more exciting to watch.
Most of the race groups included sports and production cars of various years and with engine sizes either under 2000cc or over 2500 cc, with a scattering of Porsches in several of the groups. But, Group 5 (1959-1966, Production Cars- Disc Brakes) had 14 Porsches running out of 39 cars, which was about 36% of the cars racing in that group.
PCA-SDR members racing in Porsches were: In Group 4—Don Anderson in a 1964 Bobsy-Porsche SR3, car #65, and Steve Thein in a 1967 Porsche 910, car #28; In Group 5—Matt Parsons in a 1969 911, #19, Ron Mistak in a ’72 914/6, #22, Edith Arrowsmith in a ’70 914/6, #42, Mark Leonard in a 1970 914/6, #55, and Erich Wilms, #62, who raced his 1967 911S. Some other PCA-SDR members participating were: Kaid Marouf in car #12, a 1965 Ginetta G12 in Group 4; Alan Berry driving in #544, a 1964 Volvo PV 544 in Group 5; Joe Hofmann in his ’65 Corvette, #3; as well as Jim Migliaccio in a ’67 Alfa Romeo, Car #105, in Group 9.
The weeklong Fleet Week Event presented by the San Diego Fleet Week Foundation, had Tony “A2Z” Adamowicz as the Honorary Grand Marshal. Tony had a renowned racing career winning the 1968 Trans-Am Championship in a Porsche 911. How fitting! The Speedfest benefits the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fund of our military families stationed here. Last year, over 10,000 enlisted men and women and their families attended. And it was not just all about the racing—there was a Coronado Village Car Parade; car corrals, vendor booths and car shows; new car test drives; garage tours of the racing cars; a Military Pit Crew Challenge; and ship tours.
There were over 2,000 cars, trucks and motorcycles displayed in over 50 car corrals and racing and display paddock areas, lining the grandstand sections of the race track and encompassing at least 10 football-field areas behind and alongside them. By far the largest car corral was made up of Porsches with our PCA-SDR Corral displaying over 300 Porsches for both days. I also counted another 35 Porsches on Saturday and Sunday that were either in other car club corrals or in the paddock areas, and that didn’t include those Porsches that were racing. And, that wasn’t all, there were also over two dozen Porsches in the 50th Anniversary Porsche 911 display area. One of the best highlights of the event was when those 911 owners did two parade laps on both Saturday and Sunday.
The race result sheets from the Historic Motor Sports Association for those groups that had Porsche cars racing showed that Porsche drivers did well. For instance, a California Porsche driver in a 1958 356A won in Group 2 over 26 other drivers, and Edith Arrowsmith of Fallbrook drove her 1970 914/6 Porsche to a win in Group 5 over 30 other racers. If you are interested in seeing the complete results, you can obtain them by logging onto the Historic Motor Sports Association (HMSA) web site: https://www.hmsausa.com/events/coronadoresults.html The most important thing is that no one got hurt, and those that raced already knew how well they had done, and the rest of us got the chance to enjoy a great show!
Finally, in addition to Katie Kinninger and John Bell’s coordination efforts, the following club members need to be thanked for their volunteerism on either Saturday or Sunday or both days: Parking Assistants—Bob Hallett and his son, Robbie, Craig Fenstermaker, Mark Knechtel, Leigh Rayner, Herb Meeder, and Tim Peterson. Jim Dunlap did double duty as a Parking Assistant and helping in event “teardown.” Joe Hofmann and Don Auten provided our members with coffee and ice. In addition, on Sunday, Pat Corona ran the Goodie Store again this year with assistance from family members. And what about the great job the 8 Navy volunteers from the USS Ronald Reagan did in helping us on Friday and Saturday in setting up, and also assisting in parking. Job well done!!
This event’s success is also greatly due to the generous sponsorship we received from the Porsche of San Diego Dealership and their President and General Manager, Joe Allis, with Larry Suarez, Porsche of S.D. Service Director, and his son, Dillon, representing them on Saturday. And thanks to their dealership for allowing us to prominently display a 2013 Panamera GTS and a Cayenne Diesel in front of the club’s tent, both of which received much attention from the public the whole weekend long.