A Quiver Full of Legends – Three Iconic Silver Arrows to Take Flight at Sonoma Speed FestivalRyan
The inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival will welcome Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix icons new and old to the rolling hills of Sonoma Raceway.
Grand Prix racing has had its share of great teams over the years. Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Maserati all spring to mind, but few if any teams have captured the evocative spirit of the “Silver Arrows.” Since the first silver Mercedes appeared on the Grand Prix circuit in 1934, the brand’s sleek silver machines have been synonymous with racing excellence. Three of the best of these, the 1939 Mercedes-Benz W154, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 streamliner and the 2016 F1 W07 Hybrid, will be appearing for the festivities at the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival, May 31 to June 2.
The most successful individual chassis in the history of Formula 1, the Mercedes F1 W07/04 Hybrid driven by Lewis Hamilton to 10 race victories, 9 poles and 14 total podium finishes in 2016 has earned its reputation as a modern legend of the sport. For the inaugural Sonoma Speed Festival, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will bring this incredible machine out of retirement for a series of special demonstration runs on June 1 and June 2.
As the final iteration of the “Silver Arrows” before the end of the European Grand Prix Championship and the beginning of World War II, the Mercedes-Benz W154 is a historic machine before even considering its racing performance. In the hands of German ace driver Rudolf Caracciola, however, the W154 became immortal. Caracciola and the W154 never finished off the podium during the 1938 season, winning the championship handily from his teammates. Although the 1939 season was cut short by the looming shadow of war, Caracciola and the W154 were able to capture an additional home victory at the German Grand Prix around the infamous Nurburgring. The last prewar “Silver Arrow” will fly again around Sonoma Raceway during the event.
Considered by many to be one of the most unique and beautiful racing cars of all time, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 had the speed to match its beauty. This early “Type Monza” closed-wheel streamliner version was the first to be introduced in 1954, and claimed Formula 1 victories at the high-speed circuits of Reims, Silverstone and Monza, where the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss used its superior aerodynamics to great effect. Courtesy of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, this unique racing landmark will be on display to spectators throughout the event weekend.
Alongside the action on track, the Sonoma Speed Festival will also feature attractions and entertainment for enthusiasts of all stripes, including the gourmet Sip & Savor Pavilion. This world-class blend of fine wines and spirits with high-quality chef demonstrations will feature wines from throughout California wine country, including a curated selection of vintages from Ram’s Gate Winery. Ram’s Gate specializes in beautifully crafted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals, blending harvests from throughout Northern California to expertly highlight the region’s signature terroir.
Ten iconic Race Groups spanning from the Brass Era to cutting-edge modern racing machines will take on the challenging hills of Sonoma Raceway in the heart of California wine country from May 31st to June 2nd in addition to the aforementioned gourmet food and fine wine being served, and interactive automotive displays. Don’t miss this historic event, Purchase your tickets now at this link: https://www.sonomaspeedfestival.com/tickets-and-packages/ .