The 12 Hours of Sebring is an annual motorsport endurance race for sports cars held at Sebring International Raceway, on the site of the former Hendricks Army Airfield World War II air base in Sebring, Florida, US. In the past, this race has been a round of the now defunct World Sportscar Championship, IMSA GT Championship and American Le Mans Series. In 2012, the race was the opening event of the FIA World Endurance Championship in a one off race before being returned back to the American Le Mans Series for 2013. Starting in 2014, the event became the second round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

12 Hours of Sebring
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
VenueSebring International Raceway
Corporate sponsorMobil 1
First race1950
Duration12 hours
Most wins (driver)Tom Kristensen (6)
Most wins (team)Scuderia Ferrari/SpA Ferrari (8)
Most wins (manufacturer)Porsche (18)
1949 Crosley Hot Shot that won the 1950 Sebring Race. On display at the Edge Motor Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

The race is considered to be one of the three legs of the informal Triple Crown of endurance racing along with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Daytona.[1][2][3][4][5]

History edit

The track opened in 1950 on an airfield and is a road racing course styled after those used in European Grand Prix motor racing. The first race was a six-hour race on New Year's Eve 1950. The winning car is currently on display at the Edge Motor Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The next race was held 14 months later as the first 12 Hours of Sebring.[6] The race is famous for its "once around the clock" action, starting during the day and finishing at night.[7] From 1953 to 1972 the 12 Hour was a round of the FIA's premier sports car series which was contested under various names including the World Sportscar Championship and the International Championship for Makes. In the 1950s, in addition to Le Mans, Sebring was on the calendar at the same time now-legendary races such as the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Carrera Panamericana and the RAC Tourist Trophy were on the World Sportscar Championship calendar, such was the prestige of the Sebring race. It was also the most important American race for the European teams and drivers and was the center of European racing activity in the United States; it was the only time during the 1950s that the big European manufacturer teams and drivers came to the United States in force, bringing with them considerable international media attention—the United States Formula One Grand Prix was not run until 1959. Top drivers who competed on the European circuit in the 1950s such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Nino Farina, Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn all raced at Sebring, and the 1957 Sebring 12 Hours was the only American race the 5-time world champion Fangio ever won.

In its early years, the Sebring circuit combined former airport runways with narrow two-lane service roads.[8] The 1966 event was a turning point in Sebring history, as the facilities and the safety of the circuit were heavily criticized. Five people were killed during the race, more than in the race's prior 15-year history combined.[8] Bob McLean crashed while approaching the hairpin; his car rolled several times, struck a utility pole and then exploded, landing in a ditch and killing McLean.[8] In another incident Mario Andretti in his Ferrari 365 P2 tangled with Don Wester's Porsche 906 on the Warehouse Straight near the Webster Turns, killing four spectators and then crashing into a warehouse next to the track. Subsequent to these events, the facilities were upgraded and the circuit layout was changed, including eliminating the Webster Turns and creating the Green Park Chicane further down the track to move the straight further away from the airport warehouses.[8] The circuit was made safer, and there have only been 4 fatalities since then—a remarkable record for a circuit of Sebring's age.

The race is known as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans,[9] as the track's technical layout and extremely bumpy surface, combined with south-central Florida's perennial hot weather, is a major test of a car's reliability. Teams planning to compete at Le Mans regard Sebring as an ideal preparation run for the prestigious French race.[10]

In recent years, six overall victories have been achieved by the Audi R8, one fewer than the record seven wins of the Porsche 935.[11] Tom Kristensen has won the race more times than anyone else, with six victories—in 19992000, 20052006, 2009 and in 2012.[12]

2020 saw the race be rescheduled to mid-November due to delays caused by the pandemic. It was also the first occurrence of the race behind closed doors.

Races up until 1969 began with the traditional Le Mans start procedure, which was abolished at the end of the 1969 season following Jacky Ickx protesting at Le Mans 1969; 1970 was the first 12 Hours of Sebring started with a rolling start.

Race results edit

The Ford Mk IV which won the 1967 Sebring 12 Hour
2008 overall winner Porsche RS Spyder

The 1966 race had Dan Gurney leading at the last lap, when his engine of his Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk II seized near the end. Gurney pushed his car over the finish line, beaten only by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby. However, his actions were ultimately determined to be against the rules and he did not receive credit for his finish.[13]

In 2005, the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R and Aston Martin DBR9 made their race debut in the hotly contested GT1 class,[14][15] with Aston Martin winning its class for the first time in 49 years at Sebring ahead of the two Corvettes. Corvette had dominated the class the past three years with its previous generation C5R.

Nissan Onroak DPi No. 22, 2018 overall winner

The all-new Audi R10 TDI won the 2006 edition of the race, the car's first ever run in competition.[16] The much-hyped Porsche RS Spyder campaigned by Penske Racing dropped to take 2nd place in its LMP2 class, behind the Intersport Lola car. The GT1 Corvette C6R team got their revenge against the Aston Martin, although the second Corvette came within 1/3 of a second of the podium in the closing laps of the race.

2007 saw Audi again winning in the R10 TDI despite requiring more frequent refueling due to changes in American Le Mans series rules intended to even the field between gasoline and diesel-powered engines.[17]

Statistics edit

Audi R8 winner 2000–2005

Wins by manufacturer edit

Rank Manufacturer Wins Years
1   Porsche 18 1960, 1968, 1971, 1973, 19761988, 2008
2   Ferrari 12 1956, 19581959, 19611964, 1970, 1972, 1995, 19971998
3   Audi 11 20002007, 2009, 20122013
4   Nissan 5 19891991, 1994, 2018
  Cadillac 2017, 2019, 20212023
5   Ford 4 19661967, 1969, 2014
7   Toyota 2 19921993
  BMW 1975, 1999
  Peugeot 20102011
10   Crosly 1 1950
  Frazer-Nash 1952
  Cunningham 1953
  O.S.C.A. 1954
  Jaguar 1955
  Maserati 1957
  Chaparral 1965
  Oldsmobile 1996
  Corvette 2015
  Honda 2016
  Mazda 2020
  Acura 2024

Wins by driver edit

Rank Driver Wins Years
1   Tom Kristensen 6 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012
2   Rinaldo Capello 5 2001, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2012
3   Frank Biela 4 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007
  Allan McNish 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012
  Pipo Derani 2016, 2018, 2019, 2023
4   Phil Hill 3 1958, 1959, 1961
  Olivier Gendebien 1959, 1960, 1961
  Mario Andretti 1967, 1970, 1972
  Hans-Joachim Stuck 1975, 1986, 1988
  Marco Werner 2003, 2005, 2007

Overall winners edit

Year Drivers Team Car Tires Distance Championship
3.3 mile/5.31 km circuit
1950 D   Fritz Koster
  Ralph Deshon
  Victor Sharpe/Tommy Cole Crosley HotShot 613.84 km (381.42 mi)
(Sam Collier Memorial Sebring Grand Prix of Endurance Six Hours)[19]
1951 Not held
5.382 mile/8.6 km circuit
1952   Harry Gray
  Larry Kulok
  Stuart Donaldson Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica D 1,213.445 km (754.000 mi) American Automobile Association (AAA)
1953   Phil Walters
  John Fitch
  Briggs Cunningham Cunningham C-4R F 1,447.766 km (899.600 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1954   Bill Lloyd
  Stirling Moss
  Briggs Cunningham O.S.C.A. MT4 P 1,405.923 km (873.600 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1955   Mike Hawthorn
  Phil Walters
  Briggs Cunningham Jaguar D-Type D 1,523.083 km (946.400 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1956   Eugenio Castellotti
  Juan Manuel Fangio
  Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 860 Monza E 1,623.506 km (1,008.800 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1957   Juan Manuel Fangio
  Jean Behra
  Maserati Maserati 450S P 1,648.612 km (1,024.400 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1958   Peter Collins
  Phil Hill
  Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 250 TR 58 E 1,673.718 km (1,040.000 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1959   Phil Hill
  Dan Gurney
  Chuck Daigh
  Olivier Gendebien
  Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 250 TR 59 E 1,573.295 km (977.600 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1960   Olivier Gendebien
  Hans Herrmann
  Joakim Bonnier Porsche RS-60 D 1,640.243 km (1,019.200 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1961   Phil Hill
  Olivier Gendebien
  SpA Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 250 TRI/61 D 1,740.666 km (1,081.600 mi) World Sportscar Championship
1962   Lucien Bianchi
  Joakim Bonnier
  Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia Ferrari 250 TRI/61 D 1,723.929 km (1,071.200 mi) International Championship for GT Manufacturers
1963   John Surtees
  Ludovico Scarfiotti
  SpA Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 250 P D 1,749.035 km (1,086.800 mi) International Championship for GT Manufacturers
1964   Mike Parkes
  Umberto Maglioli
  SpA Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 275 P D 1,790.878 km (1,112.800 mi) International Championship for GT Manufacturers
1965   Jim Hall
  Hap Sharp
  Chaparral Cars Inc. Chaparral 2-Chevrolet F 1,640.243 km (1,019.200 mi) International Championship for GT Manufacturers
1966   Lloyd Ruby
  Ken Miles
  Shelby American Inc. Ford X-1 Roadster G 1,908.038 km (1,185.600 mi) International Championship for Sports-Prototypes
International Championship for Sports Cars
5.4 mile/8.66 km circuit
1967   Bruce McLaren
  Mario Andretti
  Ford Motor Company Ford Mk IV F 1,991.724 km (1,237.600 mi) International Championship for Sports-Prototypes
International Championship for Sports Cars
1968   Jo Siffert
  Hans Herrmann
  Porsche Automobile Company Porsche 907 D 1,983.356 km (1,232.400 mi) International Championship for Makes
1969   Jacky Ickx
  Jackie Oliver
  J.W. Automotive Engineering Ford GT40 MkI F 2,000.093 km (1,242.800 mi) International Championship for Makes
1970   Ignazio Giunti
  Nino Vaccarella
  Mario Andretti
  SpA Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 512 S F 2,075.410 km (1,289.600 mi) International Championship for Makes
1971   Vic Elford
  Gérard Larrousse
  Martini Racing Porsche 917K F 2,175.833 km (1,352.000 mi) International Championship for Makes
1972   Jacky Ickx
  Mario Andretti
  SpA Ferrari SEFAC Ferrari 312 PB F 2,167.465 km (1,346.800 mi) World Championship for Makes
1973   Hurley Haywood
  Peter Gregg
  Dave Helmick
  Dave Helmick Porsche Carrera RSR G 1,891.301 km (1,175.200 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1974 No race due to energy crisis
1975   Hans-Joachim Stuck
  Brian Redman
  Allan Moffat
  Sam Posey
  BMW Motorsport BMW 3.0 CSL D 1,991.724 km (1,237.600 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1976   Al Holbert
  Mike Keyser
  Holbert Porsche-Audi Porsche Carrera RSR G 1,924.775 km (1,196.000 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1977   George Dyer
  Brad Frisselle
  George Dyer Porsche Carrera RSR G 1,958.450 km (1,216.924 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1978   Brian Redman
  Charles Mendez
  Bob Garretson
  Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935 G 2,008.461 km (1,248.000 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1979   Bob Akin
  Rob McFarlin
  Roy Woods
  Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935 G 2,000.093 km (1,242.800 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1980   John Fitzpatrick
  Dick Barbour
  Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935 K3 G 2,117.253 km (1,315.600 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1981   Bruce Leven
  Hurley Haywood
  Al Holbert
  Bayside Disposal Racing Porsche 935/80 G 2,050.304 km (1,274.000 mi) IMSA GT Championship
World Endurance Championship
1982   John Paul Sr.
  John Paul Jr.
  JLP Racing Porsche 935 JLP-3 G 2,041.936 km (1,268.800 mi) IMSA GT Championship
4.7 mile/7.52 km circuit
1983   Wayne Baker
  Jim Mullen
  Kees Nierop
  Personalized Autohaus Porsche 934A F 1,765.853 km (1,097.250 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1984   Mauricio de Narvaez
  Hans Heyer
  Stefan Johansson
  De Narvaez Enterprises Porsche 935J G 2,057.031 km (1,278.180 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1985   Bob Wollek
  A. J. Foyt
  Preston Henn Porsche 962 G 2,197.817 km (1,365.660 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1986   Bob Akin
  Hans-Joachim Stuck
  Jo Gartner
  Bob Akin Motor Racing Porsche 962 Y 2,244.745 km (1,394.820 mi) IMSA GT Championship
4.2 mile/6.85 km circuit
1987   Bobby Rahal
  Jochen Mass
  Bayside Disposal Racing Porsche 962 G 1,971.092 km (1,224.780 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1988   Klaus Ludwig
  Hans-Joachim Stuck
  Bayside Disposal Racing Porsche 962 G 2,103.380 km (1,306.980 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1989   Geoff Brabham
  Arie Luyendyk
  Chip Robinson
  Electramotive Engineering Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo G 2,182.753 km (1,356.300 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1990   Bob Earl
  Derek Daly
  Nissan Performance Technology Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo G 1,990.936 km (1,237.110 mi) IMSA GT Championship
3.72 mile/5.99 km circuit
1991   Derek Daly
  Geoff Brabham
  Gary Brabham
  Nissan Performance Technology Nissan NPT-90 G 1,774.463 km (1,102.600 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1992   Juan Manuel Fangio II
  Andy Wallace
  All American Racers Eagle MkIII-Toyota G 2,143.646 km (1,332.000 mi) IMSA GT Championship
1993   Juan Manuel Fangio II
  Andy Wallace
  All American Racers Eagle MkIII-Toyota G 1,369.552 km (851.000 mi)B IMSA GT Championship
1994   Steve Millen
  Johnny O'Connell
  John Morton
  Clayton Cunningham Racing Nissan 300ZX Y 1,947.145 km (1,209.900 mi) IMSA Exxon World Sportscar Championship
1995   Andy Evans
  Fermín Vélez
  Eric van de Poele
  Scandia Motorsports Ferrari 333 SP P 1,548.189 km (962.000 mi)B IMSA Exxon World Sportscar Championship
1996   Wayne Taylor
  Jim Pace
  Eric van de Poele
  Doyle Racing Riley & Scott Mk III-Oldsmobile P 1,935.075 km (1,202.400 mi) IMSA Exxon World Sportscar Championship
1997   Andy Evans
  Fermín Vélez
  Yannick Dalmas
  Stefan Johansson
  Team Scandia Ferrari 333 SP G 1,628.012 km (1,011.600 mi)B Professional Sports Car Exxon World Sportscar Championship
1998   Didier Theys
  Gianpiero Moretti
  Mauro Baldi
  MOMO Doran Racing Ferrari 333 SP Y 1,925.178 km (1,196.250 mi) Professional Sportscar Exxon World Sportscar Championship
3.74 mile/6.02 km circuit
1999   Tom Kristensen
  JJ Lehto
  Jörg Müller
  BMW Motorsport BMW V12 LMR M 1,863.781 km (1,158.100 mi) American Le Mans Series
2000   Frank Biela
  Tom Kristensen
  Emanuele Pirro
  Audi Sport North America Audi R8 M 2,143.646 km (1,332.000 mi) American Le Mans Series
2001   Rinaldo Capello
  Michele Alboreto
  Laurent Aïello
  Audi Sport North America Audi R8 M 2,203.192 km (1,369.000 mi) American Le Mans Series
European Le Mans Series
2002   Rinaldo Capello
  Christian Pescatori
  Johnny Herbert
  Audi Sport North America Audi R8 M 2,060.282 km (1,280.200 mi) American Le Mans Series
2003   Philipp Peter
  Frank Biela
  Marco Werner
  Infineon Team Joest Audi R8 M 2,185.328 km (1,357.900 mi) American Le Mans Series
2004   Allan McNish
  Frank Biela
  Pierre Kaffer
  Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8 M 2,084.101 km (1,295.000 mi) American Le Mans Series
2005   Marco Werner
  JJ Lehto
  Tom Kristensen
  ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 M 2,149.601 km (1,335.700 mi) American Le Mans Series
2006   Tom Kristensen
  Allan McNish
  Rinaldo Capello
  Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI
M 2,078.145 km (1,291.299 mi) American Le Mans Series
2007   Emanuele Pirro
  Frank Biela
  Marco Werner
  Audi Sport North America Audi R10 TDI
M 2,165.8 km (1,345.8 mi) American Le Mans Series
2008   Timo Bernhard
  Romain Dumas
  Emmanuel Collard
  Penske Racing Porsche RS Spyder M 2,088.45 km (1,297.70 mi) American Le Mans Series
2009   Tom Kristensen
  Rinaldo Capello
  Allan McNish
  Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R15 TDI
M 2,278.85 km (1,416.01 mi)C American Le Mans Series
2010   Anthony Davidson
  Marc Gené
  Alexander Wurz
  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
M 2,185.328 km (1,357.900 mi) American Le Mans Series
2011   Loïc Duval
  Nicolas Lapierre
  Olivier Panis
  Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 HDi FAP
M 1,975.4 km (1,227.5 mi) American Le Mans Series
Intercontinental Le Mans Cup
2012   Tom Kristensen
  Rinaldo Capello
  Allan McNish
  Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 TDI
M 1,933.8 km (1,201.6 mi) FIA World Endurance Championship
American Le Mans Series
2013   Marcel Fässler
  Benoît Tréluyer
  Oliver Jarvis
  Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro
(hybrid diesel)
M 2,191.3 km (1,361.6 mi) American Le Mans Series
2014   Marino Franchitti
  Scott Pruett
  Memo Rojas
  Chip Ganassi Racing Riley Mk XXVI-Ford Ecoboost C 1,751.1 km (1,088.1 mi) United SportsCar Championship
2015   Sébastien Bourdais
  João Barbosa
  Christian Fittipaldi
  Action Express Racing Coyote-Corvette DP C 2,046.4 km (1,271.6 mi) United SportsCar Championship
2016   Pipo Derani
  Scott Sharp
  Ed Brown
  Johannes van Overbeek
  Tequila Patrón ESM Ligier JS P2-Honda C 1,432.51 km (890.12 mi)B IMSA SportsCar Championship
2017   Alex Lynn
  Ricky Taylor
  Jordan Taylor
  Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R C 2,094.59 km (1,301.52 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2018   Johannes van Overbeek
  Nicolas Lapierre
  Pipo Derani
  Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan Onroak DPi C 2,070.88 km (1,286.79 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2019   Felipe Nasr
  Pipo Derani
  Eric Curran
  Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R M 2,094.96 km (1,301.75 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2020   Jonathan Bomarito
  Ryan Hunter-Reay
  Harry Tincknell
  Mazda Motorsports Mazda RT24-P M 2,094.96 km (1,301.75 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2021   Sébastien Bourdais
  Loïc Duval
  Tristan Vautier
  JDC-Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R M 2,100.98 km (1,305.49 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2022   Earl Bamber
  Neel Jani
  Alex Lynn
  Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R M 2,113.02 km (1,312.97 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2023   Jack Aitken
  Pipo Derani
  Alexander Sims
  Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac V-Series.R M 1,938.62 km (1,204.60 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
2024   Louis Delétraz
  Colton Herta
  Jordan Taylor
  Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Acura ARX-06 M 2,004.33 km (1,245.43 mi) IMSA SportsCar Championship
^A The car was in fact, a Porsche 935 K3 that has been modified with a single plug cylinder head and a front nose to resemble a Porsche 934 to comply to IMSA GTO specification.[20]
^B These races were stopped for a period of time due to heavy rain and/or accidents. The race clock was not stopped for these periods and counted towards the 12 Hours.
^C Race record for most distance covered.
^D Technically the race "winner" in 1950 was the Crosley Hot Shot of Fritz Koster / Ralph Deshon, entered by Victor Sharpe Jr. of Tampa. While the Wacker / Burrell Allard did cover more distance, the race was run under the "Index of Performance" handicapping rules and the Crosley, with a much smaller engine than the Cadillac-powered Allard, is listed in the Official Sebring Record Book as the winner.

References edit

  1. ^ Posey, Sam (February 2012). "24 Hours of Daytona: A short history of a long race". Road & Track. 63 (6): 73–77. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  2. ^ "Are the days of motorsport's triple crown gone?". NZ Herald. March 22, 2024. Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  3. ^ Hub, Porsche Motorsport. "IMSA season opener at Daytona Beach | Porsche Motorsport Hub". Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  4. ^ "RETURN TO SEBRING". Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  5. ^ Sass, Rob (March 2, 2015). "Benjafield's 24: Endurance event features pre-war classics". Hagerty UK. Retrieved March 22, 2024.
  6. ^ McCluggage, Denise (February 20, 2012). "Racing Through History". Autoweek. 62 (4): 66–67.
  8. ^ a b c d Sebring, archived from the original on March 9, 2019, retrieved April 7, 2019
  9. ^ LE MANS USA. MAJOR ENDURANCE TEST FOR PORSCHE AT SEBRING., archived from the original on April 7, 2019, retrieved April 7, 2019
  10. ^ Nobody Tells You How Punishing the 12 Hours of Sebring Really Is
  11. ^ Porsche Celebrates 12 Hours of Sebring Winners, March 19, 2009
  12. ^ Sebring 12 hours statistics
  13. ^ "Sebring countdown: The 20 greatest battles countdown, Nos. 8 through 5 | Autoweek". April 6, 2016. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Corvette C6-R Race Car Launches For 2005
  15. ^ 2005 Aston-Martin DBR9, December 12, 2005
  16. ^ Audi V12 TDI is "Race Engine of the Year"
  17. ^ IMSA cuts back diesel advantage, archived from the original on May 30, 2019, retrieved January 31, 2021
  18. ^ "Sebring wall of winners".
  19. ^ Sam Collier Memorial Sebring Grand Prix of Endurance Six Hours, Retrieved on 31 July 2012
  20. ^ Starkey, John (December 1998). 930 to 935: The Turbo Porsches. Renwick & Starkey Ltd. ISBN 0-9665094-1-2.

External links edit