If you are looking for an event to attend in March and are lucky enough to live in Florida, then head to the Sebring 12h and you’ll be in for a show! The race is the second round of the United Sportscar Championship and formerly part of the American Le Mans Series.
The track is very particular as it was a World War II Army base which explains the bumpiness and roughness of the tarmac. For those of you who play Forza or Gran Turismo, you are surely familiar with how tricky some parts of the circuit are, and how the state of the track impacts the car ability to remain steady on hard braking and cornering, especially on the last corner.
The first 12 Hours of Sebring took place in 1950 and was won by two American drivers, Koster and Deshon on a Crosley HotShot. And yes, I had to Google that too! The following editions however featured some amazing winners such as the D-Type in 1955 or the stunning Ferrari 250 TR in 1958. The event also had its fair share of famous winning drivers such as Surtees, Fangio, Ickx and McLaren to name a few… The most successful car around the hot and bumpy course remains the Porsche 935 with 7 wins from the mid 70’s to the early 80’s, while the most successful driver is Tom Kristensen with 6 victories in the early 2000’s.
The race is renowned for being a once around the clock, with the event starting during day time and finishing at night. In its first years, it consisted of modified airport tracks which weren’t really suited for racing, and unfortunately, a massive accident in 1966 was the trigger point to improve safety around the course.
It is an interesting race to witness because it serves as a pre-testing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans where manufacturers try their best to be ready for the big French event. Sebring is particularly intense on the cars due to the Florida hot weather condition, and the track itself that puts a lot of stress on the cars chassis and suspensions.
The 2017 edition saw Cadillac taking the win (yes, you read correctly, Cadillac!) with their DPi-VR which is based on the Dallara P217 and also took the win the same year at the 24 Hours of Daytona.