Sebring – One of Florida’s Most Prominent Events

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The annual running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is one of the biggest events in the state of Florida every year. (IMSA Photo)
The annual running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is one of the biggest events in the state of Florida every year. (IMSA Photo)

SEBRING, Fla. – Springtime in Florida attracts many significant sporting events and festivals, but few have the international acclaim of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.

In addition to Sebring’s signature event on March 21, no sporting facility in Florida, and perhaps the world, will be as active as Sebring Int’l Raceway in the first three months of 2020. Long known as one of the most active racing facilities in the world, of the 91 days from Jan. 1 to March 31, only seven will not include cars racing or testing on track at Sebring – and the majority of those days are set aside for track preparation.

In its traditional third weekend of March spot, in the midst of other highly attended events including PGA Tour tournaments, Major League Baseball Spring Training games, NASCAR and IndyCar races, as well as dozens of festivals and concerts, racing at Sebring Int’l Raceway March 18-21 will draw headlines for newspapers and broadcast networks around the world who follow international car racing.

In 2019 the 12-Hour classic was named the No. 1 motorsports event in North America by a fan vote conducted by USA Today.  Other world-class events included the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Indianapolis 500.  A worldwide audience will be able to watch the broadcast of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring through live coverage on NBC Sports networks, and a world feed of the WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring will expose the area to millions of followers of that series.

More than 130 professional racing teams are expected to compete in four races over the weekend – each team will include a minimum of 10 crew members, drivers and team principals.  Some teams will include as many as 30-40 crew members.

“Sebring is very high on the list of motorsports events with global interest,” said Wayne Estes, Sebring Int’l Raceway president and general manager.  “When you talk to people with ties to the racing industry, Sebring, Daytona, Le Mans and Indianapolis are the venues that are most often discussed.  We often joke that maybe more people from Europe know about Sebring than those from Orlando, Tampa or Lakeland.  Regardless, during March the population of Sebring is multiplied several times over with attendees who patronize businesses and spend money throughout Florida.  What was once one of Florida’s best-kept entertainment secrets is quickly becoming a must ‘must-see’ event even for casual motorsports fans.”

As every year since 1952, gates will open at Sebring at 6 a.m. on Wednesday of race week (March 18) and will remain open around the clock through Sunday.  Guests have already started lining up outside the Raceway in order to be among the first to claim their spot in unreserved parking areas inside the facility.  All reserved trackside parking spaces are sold out, as are many premium fan hospitality options and all corporate hospitality.  Only the brand-new Celebrity Cruises Luxury Lounge has limited fan hospitality still available.

The defending champion of IMSA’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts is the Action Express Whelen Engineering Cadillac from the United States.  The No. 31 Cadillac will again be driven by three-time 12-Hour champion Pipo Derani who will be joined again by Felipe Nasr Filipe Albuquerque.

The FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring was dominated in 2019 by the Toyota Gazoo Racing team which will defend its title with drivers Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley on March 20.

On March 19 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing’s No. 39 Audi R8 will defend its 2019 Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge victory with drivers Jeff Westphal and Tyler McQuarrie, while earlier that day the No. 10 Robillard Racing team with drivers Stevan McAleer and Joe Robillard will attempt to go back-to-back in the IMSA Prototype Challenge.