Featuring a much-anticipated lineup of historic race vehicles, this year’s Velocity Invitational will take the stage from October 14-16 at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. Celebrating its third anniversary, this year’s invitational will welcome a number of special participants, including vehicles from the McLaren Formula 1 Team, DirtFish Rally School and a selection of hypercars.
As the only contemporary Formula 1 vehicle showcase on the West Coast, the upcoming event will feature the MP4/5B-07 chassis that captured the 1990 world championship, driven by Ayrton Senna. McLaren will also host the 1996 F1 GT12R race car that participated in the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans. Mario Andretti, Mika Häkkinen, Tanner Foust, Alistar McRae and Pato O’Ward, are just a few of the top drivers that are set to make an appearance during the event. Don’t miss Mario Andretti’s scheduled drive in a 2013 McLaren MP4/28A Formula 1 car, a pairing of historical proportions.
Along with McLaren classics, the event will feature hypercars from top manufacturers, including a 2022 Hennessey Venom F5 Coupe and F5 Roadster (the latter was unveiled at this year’s Quail Motorsports Gathering). Hypercar fans will also have a chance to view Czinger’s brand new 21C V Max and the Zenvo TSR-S. Featured in previous years, the event’s famed “Minis Vs. Mustangs” enduro will be back on the track for a thrilling two hour nighttime race.
The invitational will also play host to six rally vehicles, courtesy of Seattle’s DirtFish Rally School and its owner, Steve Rimmer. The group is set to include the Group B Lancia Rally 037, the MG Metro 6R4 and Peugeot’s 206 WRC, which holds a World Championship success record. Known across the motorsports community, father-son team Alister and Max McRae will be driving vehicles from the lineup.
Velocity Invitational founder Jeff O’Neill’s vision and high vehicle standards define this year’s event schedule, which has brought historic vehicles together with some of the industry’s most innovative models- and its most influential figures. Considering his passion for all things refined, it’s no surprise that O’Neill also happens to be the CEO of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers and a recent recipient of the 2022 Person of the Year Wine Star Award by Wine Enthusiast magazine. The result is sure to be a carefully curated balance between legend and luxury, as high-profile winning vehicles join modern pioneers to illustrate the racing world’s decades- spanning scope.
For a sense of what to expect at this week’s Invitational, consider the size and scale of last year’s event: highlights included one of only six Mercedes Benz 300- SLR’s in the world, and demo laps around the track with Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen, who will be back on the track this year.
Amid seeing the vehicles in action and touring stationary showcases, guests will have the chance to enjoy gourmet bites, fine wine and luxury lounge areas, including the Velocity Lane Lounge. The Oasis, a brand new addition to this year’s setup, offers an air conditioned interior and unobstructed track views. Young racing aficionados under 15 can attend free of charge when accompanied by an adult and tickets are still available at velocityinvitational.com. Partnering up with Bring a Trailer, this year’s event will also host a charity auction offering visitors the chance to bid on two tickets to the Invitational and an exclusive ride-along experience in the McLaren Altura hypercar, accompanied by Mika Hakkinen or Pato O’ Ward. Earnings will go to Inspire Motorsport’s efforts to diversify the racing world and welcome new fans.
Taking Salinas by storm, the Velocity Invitational keeps the region’s racing spirit alive while introducing the public to motorsports’ most exceptional models. Don’t miss the Invitational’s third anniversary, which is sure to echo the event’s past successes while introducing new and improved elements.