12 Ways to Experience and Explore Sebring’s Legendary 12-Hour Classic

Sebring is historic
Sebring is historic

1. Learn the Turns With 17 different turns around the 3.74-mile circuit (the second longest road racing track in North America), Sebring has plenty of great viewing areas.

Several viewing berms are located around the circuit, including the challenging turns 3-4-5 complex and the exciting Hairpin. Small grandstands are located at the Hairpin and Turn 14. The paddock is open to all spectators and provides up close viewing of the teams preparing their cars for battle. For a panoramic view of the pits and the front straight, Pit Box seats put you on top of the action (for availability call 800-626-7223).

2. Sebring CuisineWith a variety of food vendors on both the Midway and in the Paddock, there are numerous culinary options at Sebring. You can find everything from corn dogs to alligator nuggets, including pizza, chicken and waffles, and the legendary “Beast" sandwich sold at the Snack Shack.

3. Heritage TrailWithin the confines of Sebring International Raceway are many historical features that date back to the days of when the raceway was Hendricks Field, a WWII B-17 training base. For example, the flagpole behind Turn 3 is the original flagpole placed at the center of the air base in 1942. Sebring's Ulmann Straight was originally one of the runways used by B-17s during WWII. The front straight still has the concrete surface poured in 1941 when the air base was built. Behind Turn 13 you can still see the original Hendricks Field control tower.

Many parts of the Sebring track are the exact same as was used for the first 12 Hour race back in 1952. The “Big Bend" between Turn 5 and the Hairpin, Turn 17 and the pit straight are virtually unchanged from the first race over six decades ago. You can even still see the original Hairpin turn, located adjacent to the modified Hairpin that has been in use since 1998.

4. Visit Sebring's Unique “Neighborhoods" – Take a walk on the “wild side!" The Green Park section of the track has been famous (and infamous) for some serious partying over the years. Often called the Woodstock of auto racing, Green Park features dozens of unique campsites that have become their own little neighborhoods. You'll see F-troop, Turn Ten Club, Party Barge, and many others in Green Park and other areas around the track. Their unique décor adds to the atmosphere of America's greatest endurance racing tradition. And don't forget the car neighborhoods- special corrals for Corvette, Audi, BMW, Audi, Mazda and other makes are located around the circuit.

5. Meet the HeroesSebring fans have unprecedented access to the teams and drivers. Every Sebring ticket allows entrance to the competitor's paddock. The TUDOR Championship autograph session Friday morning is a fan highlight of race week. Every driver in the race will be participating so don't miss this exciting opportunity. There will be other fan events during the week, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

6. Gallery of LegendsLocated in the paddock behind the pits, the Gallery of Legends building contains a display of several racecars from Sebring's incredible past. This year the featured car will be the legendary Chevrolet powered Chaparral 2 that won 50 years ago, driven by Jim Hall and Hap Sharp. This is a rare opportunity to see up close one of the most famous American-built race cars ever.

7. Party Like Its 2015 The Spring Break Party Zone is located just off the Midway. The stage hosts live entertainment, fan forums and other special activities. And yes, the famous Sebring bikini contest takes place in the Party Zone on Friday.

8. The Luxury side of SebringSebring is one of the few road racing circuit to have its own hotel. The Chateau Elan overlooks the Hairpin turn and features the Esperante restaurant and lounge. Another luxury viewing experience is Club Sebring. This suite above the pits has a great view of the pits and the front straight and offers patrons an open bar, catered meals on Saturday and other amenities. For information on prices and availability call 800-626-7223.

9. Paddock AdventuresEvery Sebring ticket allows access to the Paddock where all the teams are located. You will get to watch up close as teams prepare for the grueling 12-hour enduro (you are welcome to take photos and ask questions)! You will also see the impressive team transporters in the paddock, the technical inspection station and other supporting facilities that travel from race-to-race.

Grid Walk
Grid Walk

10. Grid WalkPrior to the start of the 63rd Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh From Florida, you can stroll along the pit lane and get a close up look at all the cars before they begin their 12-hour adventure on the toughest road course in the world. You will be walking along the same pit lane that has been in use for 62 years, where legends like Mario Andretti, Juan Manuel Fangio, A.J. Foyt, Stirling Moss, Jim Hall and Phil Hill once stood before driving to victory! Be sure to arrive early Saturday morning for this exciting opportunity.

11. Manufacturer Displays Sebring offers a large number of special manufacturer displays for race fans. Chevrolet, Nissan, BMW and Ford are just a few of the many manufacturers bringing exciting displays to America's greatest endurance racing tradition.

12. Surrounding Sebring SecretsSebring and Highlands County have many hidden gems, including Highlands Hammock State Park. Created during the depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Highlands Hammock is among the most beautiful state parks in Florida. A CCC Museum, boardwalks, camping area, touring tram and other opportunities await you.

Historic downtown Sebring dates back to the founding of Sebring back in 1912. Built around a central circle, the quaint downtown features unique shops and restaurants. During the 1960s, technical inspection for the race was held downtown, and the cars were then driven to the track!

Of course, there is great fishing at many of Highland's County's lakes, and if you enjoy golfing, there are many challenging courses open to the public.

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