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THE WORLD COMES TO SEBRING

THE WORLD COMES TO SEBRING 25 September, 1997 SEBRING, Fla. (September 25, 1997) -- The world's greatest sports cars and drivers are heading to the United States for the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest, October 16 -18, 1997.

THE WORLD COMES TO SEBRING

25 September, 1997

SEBRING, Fla. (September 25, 1997) -- The world's greatest sports cars and drivers are heading to the United States for the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest, October 16 -18, 1997. That's when, for the first time in history, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) brings the World Grand Touring (GT) Championship to North America's historic Sebring International Raceway.

The NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest features round ten of the 11-race FIA GT Championship. The series arrives at the 3.71-mile Sebring road course, having competed on world famous race tracks in Germany, Great Britain, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Japan and Italy.

The FIA GT Championship features factory teams and drivers representing the automotive world's most prestigious marques including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Lotus and BMW. Leading drivers in the series include Porsche's Hans Stuck of Austria, BMW's J.J. Lehto of Finland and Mercedes' Klaus Ludwig and Bernd Schneider, both of Germany.

The cars are among the most exotic in the world and come with a price limit of $1 million. Rules require an FIA GT car to be a road car adapted for racing and not a racing car adapted for the road. The car must be genuinely designed and built for use on the road. Specific models include the Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1, BMW-McLaren F1 GTR, Lotus Esprit and Dodge Viper GTS-R.

Joining the FIA GT Championship at Sebring will be North America's two premier sports car series: the Exxon World SportsCar Championship and Exxon Supreme GT Series presented by Virgin Interactive (These two series compete every March in the historic 12 Hours of Sebring). Support races for the Octoberfest weekend include the final 1997 rounds of the SPEEDVISION Cup for Stock SportsCars and the Black Magic Pro Series for World Sports Racers.

Practice for the NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest gets underway Wednesday, October 15, with preliminary qualifying beginning on Thursday, October 16. Final qualifying and the Exxon Supreme GT Series and SPEEDVISION Cup races are scheduled for Friday, October 17.

The feature events of the NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest are the Exxon World SportsCar Championship and the FIA GT Championship races on Saturday, October 18.

Fan-friendly reserved grandstand seats along the start/finish area, directly across from pit lane have been installed for the event. If purchased by October 10th, these reserved seats are $50.00 for Saturday-only and $60.00 for all four days. General admission tickets good for all four days are $50.00 and Saturday-only general admission tickets are $40.00 in advance. Advance price reflects a $10.00 discount available through October 10th. Children 12 and under are free. All tickets include general admission and access to the paddock, midway and entertainment areas. NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Octoberfest tickets are available through Ticketmaster or the Sebring ticket office: toll free 1-800-626-RACE (Florida only) or (941) 655-1442.

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Series PSR
Drivers J.J. Lehto , Klaus Ludwig