Sebring – An iconic race…an iconic place

As a follow-up to my most recent book review, I just wanted to say a few words about the 12 Hours of Sebring and Sebring International Raceway. It’s a world-renowned endurance race and an internationally revered racetrack. So, when I moved to Florida in 1984 I knew I had to see it and experience it for myself.


Bob Akin/Hans-Joachim Stuck/Jo Gartner, Porsche 962, Bob Akin Motor Racing

I was able to attend the12 Hours of Sebring in 1986. The Coca-Cola sponsored Porsche 962 driven by Bob Akin, Hans-Joachim Stuck, and Jo Gartner handily won the race by six laps. I had never witnessed cars race into the night, with headlights blazing, and exhaust flames stabbing the darkness. It was amazing…an unforgettable experience! Little did I know that this would be the only time I could attend the race before moving to Washington DC in 1990.


Tom Kristensen/Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish, Audi R18 TDI (Diesel), Audi Sport Team Joest

My next opportunity came in 2012. It was noteworthy for being the 60th Anniversary of the 12 Hours race, featuring a field of competitors that combined the American Le Mans Series and FIA World Endurance Championship. This was the first ever event for the new WEC series. The overall winner of the race was the Audi R18 TDI (Diesel) driven by Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello, and Allan McNish.

Those were great memories and I hope to attend more 12 Hours of Sebring races in the future. Who knows, maybe this year (2020) is still in play. Due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the race was postponed until November. It would be the 50th anniversary of the 1970 race, so impressively captured in the book by Harry Hurst, 12 Hours of Sebring – 1970.

TJ ….2020

About terryjohnsen

Writer/photographer of vintage/historic sports car racing. See you at the track! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terry Johnsen and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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