Sebring – A Spring Tradition

Toyota will pace the field in the FIA-WEC race at Sebring. [Photo by Toyota Gazoo Racing]

Toyota will pace the field in the FIA-WEC race at Sebring. [Photo by Toyota Gazoo Racing]

By Eddie LePine and Jack Webster

Up north, the snows are melting and the days are getting longer and warmer. It is that time of year again, as spring is around the corner and the dreary days of winter are giving way to the promise of better days ahead.

To race fans around the world, the true arrival of spring is made real by their annual pilgrimage to that most hallowed of racing venues – The 12 Hours of Sebring.

Thousands are making their way to that small town and its famous airstrip from all over the country and the world. They are traveling by car, plane, camper and even foot. They will all arrive for what is arguably the greatest endurance racing contest in the US, if not the world, which is held every year on the third Saturday of March – The 12 Hours of Sebring.

The teams have been preparing since last year’s event, and many of the fans have as well. Green Park will fill up with its usual assortment of interesting camp sites and elaborate compounds, the paddock will fill up with team transporters and equipment, corner workers will arrive at their stations from around the globe. This is a truly a one of a kind event – The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.

If you have never been there, you have to go. It is much more than just a race. It is an event, an experience. For racing fans, it has to be on your bucket list. The campers have already started to line up in the staging area outside the circuit, each waiting to be among the first to gain entry into central Florida’s hallowed, historic racing ground.

This year’s event promises to be even more special than ones in the past, for this year it includes not only the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring on Saturday, March 16, but also the FIA-WEC Series, which will race on the Friday before the 12 Hours, holding their own 1000-mile event Friday afternoon into the night.

34 cars are entered for the FIA-WEC race, and 45+ are expected for the IMSA race on Saturday. Two days of flat out racing with the finest cars and drivers in the world – all in one place – historic Sebring International Raceway.

Driving those cars will be some of the finest race drivers from all over the world, with experience ranging from Formula One, to IndyCar, to Le Mans. And this year, you not only get to see those drivers in the IMSA cars, you can see them in the FIA-WEC Le Mans cars as well – in two separate races on two separate days at one historic race track.

The bottom line is that this is going to be one hell of a race weekend – one for the record books. In March, all roads lead to Sebring. If you are a race fan anywhere on the planet and can possibly get there, Sebring is the place to be – this year more than ever.

Spring just wouldn’t be the same without Sebring.

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