Sebring turns Fifty

After 588 hours and 1.4 million miles of racing- Sebring Turns 50 Sebring, FL (March 1, 2002) -- America's premier international road racing event celebrates its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, March 16. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring ...

After 588 hours and 1.4 million miles of racing- Sebring Turns 50

Sebring, FL (March 1, 2002) -- America's premier international road racing event celebrates its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, March 16.

The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Dodge began in 1952 at a former WWII air base known as Hendricks Field. Since then, the legendary track has hosted 588 hours of racing. A total of 3,093 cars have competed at Sebring in the previous 49 endurance classics. All together, these cars have recorded nearly 1.4 million competition miles, equal to over 55 laps around the world.

Of the 2,556 drivers who have raced at Sebring, only 96 have managed to win the grueling event. Among them are A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Mario Andretti, Jim Hall, Juan Manuel Fangio, Bobby Rahal, Phil Hill and Stirling Moss.

A total of 28 different manufacturers have led the Sebring race, but only 14 have won. Porsche has a record 17 wins, including a string of 13 straight. Ferrari has 12 wins, the only other manufacturer with more than four.

Even the spectators are in the Sebring record books. Often called the Mardi Gras of motorsports, Sebring boasts one of the most loyal followings of any professional sports event in North America. The only year Sebring was not held (in 1974 due to the energy crisis), several thousand spectators showed up anyway. The first fan in line for this year's race arrived 65 days early, breaking the previous record by nearly a month.

More records will be broken this year at Sebring. An American Le Mans Series (ALMS) record 60 entries will compete on the grueling 3.7-mile road course. Audi will be going for its third straight win, but faces competition from Cadillac, Panoz, Lola, Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Saleen and several others. The winning team at Sebring the past three years has gone on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Several former Sebring-winning cars and drivers will be returning for the Golden Anniversary race. A special "Legends of Sebring" autograph session will take place on Friday, March 15, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Mobil 1 tent.

Gates open at Sebring International Raceway on Wednesday, March 13, and remain open 24 hours a day through Saturday. Ticket information is available by calling 863-655-1442 (tollfree in Florida 800-626-7223).

-alms/sir-

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