Sebring prepares for 2005 opener

Charley, Frances and Jeanne Don't Slow Down Sebring After unwelcome visits by Charley, Frances and Jeanne, Sebring International Raceway is on track in preparations for the 53rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 16-19. Three ...

Charley, Frances and Jeanne Don't Slow Down Sebring

After unwelcome visits by Charley, Frances and Jeanne, Sebring International Raceway is on track in preparations for the 53rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 16-19.

Three hurricanes struck the Sebring area within a seven-week period last summer, causing damage to the historic raceway. "We had a rough summer," stated Sebring Raceway President Tres Stephenson. "Our staff has been busy working to bring everything back to normal. By the time we open the gates on March 16, there will be little evidence of what we went through a few months ago."

Sebring's endurance classic is the oldest and most prestigious sports car race in North America, and kicks-off the 2005 American Le Mans Series. Sebring International Raceway will also host the ALMS pre-season test Jan. 31-Feb 3.

Wind gusts over 100 mph swept through the raceway when Jeanne crossed over central Florida on September 26th, following Charley and Frances only a few weeks earlier. In addition to loss of electricity and phone service for several days, numerous signs, lights, billboards, fences and roofs were damaged throughout the facility. The storms also caused delays in completing a new entrance road to the track from Highway 98 (a detour road has been opened in its place).

Despite the hurricanes, Sebring's on-track schedule has continued without interruption. Testing, SCCA events, racing schools and other activities continue at America's busiest winter motorsports facility.

New this year at Sebring is an expanded Club Sebring Suite and the Ulmann Straight reserved camping area along the famous back straight of the 3.7 mile circuit.

"Reserved trackside parking/camping spaces are selling at a record pace, and we have very few spots remaining," stated Stephenson. "Race fans should contact us immediately to reserve their trackside spaces. Club Sebring is an equally hot ticket, and despite the expansion of the suite, we are nearing a sell-out."

Tickets to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring are available at advance-purchase prices until Feb. 28. After that date, gate prices apply. For more information, visit Sebringraceway.com.

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