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Ferraris take over Sonoma Raceway, Sonomafest arrives next week

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With the opening of its 2014 Big O Tires major events season less than a month away, Sonoma Raceway continues warming-up for the arrival of historic cars, NASCAR, NHRA, Indy and World Touring by hosting a variety of Valley race weekends.

Starting today and running through tomorrow, Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, the Ferrari Challenge North America Series makes its ninth consecutive appearance at Sonoma Raceway, with the event marking the second of the nine races for the 2014 Ferrari Challenge Series of Ferrari 458 EVO owners.

A long-standing highlight for Ferrari fans and clients, the highly anticipated event invites spectators to attend the race and enjoy an open paddock area and the Ferrari-festival atmosphere.

The weekend will feature four practice sessions today, with qualifying and racing set for Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $20 each day or $50 for a weekend pass and can be purchased at the gate. For the series schedule and information, visit ferrarichallenge.com.

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Next up on Sonoma Raceway’s famed 12-turn road course is Sonomafest 2014, featuring 3J’s Motorcycle Day (April 30); American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (May 1-2); and the American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM) featuring the GEICO Motorcycle Superbike Shootout Series (presented by Yamaha), as well as Supermoto USA and the RKA/Sonoma Raceway Wine Country Charity Ride (May 3-4).

AFM tickets will be available at the gate for $25; children ages 12-and-under, along with parking, are free. For more information, visit afmracing.org.

Both the 3J’s Motorcycle Day and RKA/Sonoma Raceway Wine Country Charity Ride are charity events for Speedway Children’s Charities, which is the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway.

To register, or for more details for 3J’s, contact Jenah Smith at jsmith@racesonoma.com. To register for the RKA/Sonoma Raceway Wine Country Charity Ride, contact Richard Battles at richard@rka-luggage.com.

For more information on any of the Sonomafest events,

visit racesonoma.com/sonomafest.

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Sonoma Raceway’s 2014 Big O Tires major events schedule opens with the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival on May 17 and 18, and closes with the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge on Oct. 4 and 5.

In between will be the popular NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend – the Valley’s largest attended motorsports event – taking place Friday through Sunday, June 20 to 22.

Then the annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals weekend will be held July 25 through 27, preceded by the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, July 18 through 20.

Following the IndyCar Series weekend (Aug. 22 through 24) will be the FIA World Touring Car Championship being held from Sept. 20 to 21.

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Sonoma Raceway’s popular Wednesday Night Drags, drifting and “Top the Cops” programs, continuing through Nov. 12, are open to anyone with a driver’s license, who can race any vehicle or motorcycle they bring, provided it passes a simple tech inspection. “Top the Cops” participants need a current high school identification card.

Sonoma Raceway gates open for Wednesday’s “Drag and Drift” and “Top the Cops” at 3:30 p.m., with time runs beginning at 4, and drag racing taking place from 5 to 10 p.m. Drifting runs from 4 to 10 p.m.

Cost for the Wednesday Night Drags is $25 for competitors, $15 for students with a high school ID, and $10 for spectators. Season-long passes are also available, and children ages 12-years-old-and-under, and parking, are free. The drifting costs are $40 for pre-registration, with no on-site registration.

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To purchase 2014 major-event tickets and ticket packages, including the all-encompassing Track Pass, for more details on the Wednesday Night Drags, or for general Sonoma Raceway information, call 800-870-RACE (7223), or visit racesonoma.com, ticketmaster.com or racesonoma.com/wnd.