Racing legends help shape Sebring Raceway's character

Sebring, FL -- The names given to turns around the legendary Sebring International Raceway tells of its remarkable history: Fangio Chicane, Gurney Bend, Cunningham Corner, Flying Fortress Straight, Le Mans Curve and Ulmann Straight. For over...

Sebring, FL -- The names given to turns around the legendary Sebring International Raceway tells of its remarkable history: Fangio Chicane, Gurney Bend, Cunningham Corner, Flying Fortress Straight, Le Mans Curve and Ulmann Straight.

For over five decades, Sebring has played host to an annual festival of sports car racing known as the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This year's classic takes the green flag at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 15.

Sebring International Raceway originated from an abandoned military base used for training B-17 Flying Fortress crews. From the first 12 hour race in 1952, Sebring became a harbinger of spring for the racing enthusiasts. Legendary cars such as Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Maserati and Aston Martin battled on the old runways of Hendricks Field, driven by legendary drivers such as Dan Gurney, Juan Manuel Fangio, Briggs Cunningham, Stirling Moss, A.J. Foyt, and Mario Andretti.

Auto racing at Sebring originated when Russian immigrant Alec Ulmann, a MIT graduate who loved the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, wanted to create a similar classic in the United States. It didn't take long for the Sebring 12 hour race to achieve international status.

Now part of the American Le Mans Series, Sebring continues to attract the world's best sport car racing teams. This year's event is especially significant, as its entries rank among the best ever and feature many of the teams which will contest the famous Le Mans race in June.

Team Bentley is making its first and only North American appearance in preparation for its assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Bentley will face stiff competition from Audi, winners of three straight Sebring races, as well as MG Lola, Lister, Panoz, Pilbeam and Riley & Scott entries. These prototypes are capable of speeds well in excess of 200 mph on Sebring's Ulmann Straight, once a runway for the old military base.

The production-based GTS and GT classes will be equally as competitive with Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Lamborghini, TVR, Spyker and Dodge Viper battling with exotic supercars such as Saleen and Pagani Zonda.

Gates open on Wednesday, March 12, and remain open 24 hours a day through Saturday. Tickets can be ordered by calling 800-626-7223. Race fans can visit www.sebringraceway.com for more information.

-sr-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Dan Gurney , Mario Andretti , Juan Manuel Fangio , Stirling Moss , A.J. Foyt