SEBRING RANKS AS THE BEST OF THE BEST FOR AUBERLEN
Long and winning history for BMW pilot in the 12 Hours
In a career full of big-time events, the Sebring 12 Hours ranks at the top for Bill Auberlen.
“This is my favorite race in the world,” the BMW Motorsport pilot enthused. “It’s historic. Everyone who is anyone in racing has raced this race. It’s rough, it’s tough and it’s grueling on the cars and the drivers. If you win this race you have really won a race!”
Auberlen will go for his fourth career victory in the 12 Hours this weekend in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. He is part of a two-car factory BMW lineup for the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. The race also serves as the year’s first round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
“My dad won it in 1985. I won it in 1995, 1997 and 1998,” said Auberlen, who won the latter two in BMW M3s. He’ll drive this week with Augusto Farfus and Dirk Werner. “And surrounded by one of the world’s great races is the world of the infield. It is always mayhem and always worth a visit (or two).”
Naturally Auberlen has seen Sebring – the race and the track – evolve over the years. But that has done little to change the nostalgia of the event.
“I remember many years ago when the back-straight was so wide you could be on your perfect line and a 962 was passing you from 50 car lengths behind on the left. You could get lost out there,” he said. “The track has been refined over the years, but the improvements haven’t taken away its heart. Turn 1 is still rough, still bumpy, and still fourth gear flat out. Turn 17 is still rough, still bumpy, still an old airport runway. It has all the charm from the past but is safer.”
The 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida is set for 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 19. The race will be shown live and in its entirety on ESPN3.com and americanlemans.com starting at 10:15 a.m. ET. ABC will provide coverage from 12:30 to 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 20. Visit the American Le Mans Series’ schedule page for information on tickets and area accommodations.