Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sebring Raceway is a road course auto racing facility located in Sebring, Florida. It occupies a portion of Hendricks Field - currently an active airport for private and commercial traffic, but formerly an Army Air Force training base from 1941 to 1946 where pilots learned to fly the B-17 Flying Fortress.
Sebring Raceway is one of the oldest continuously operating race tracks in the United States, its first race being run in 1950. Many consider Sebring to be one of the classic race tracks in North American sports car racing.
The track itself is 3.7 miles long (down from its original 5.2 mile configuration). It is a seventeen turn road course with long straights, several high-speed corners and very technical slower corners. There is very little elevation change around the track and little camber on the surface which provides a challenging track for drivers, especially when it rains.
The course still runs on sections of old World War II era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams. These sections are quite rough and frequently cause sparks to fly from the undercarriage of the cars as they pass.
Sebring is most notable for hosting the 12 Hours of Sebring, sanctioned at various times by the FIA, IMSA, and now the ALMS. However, this is a very active track, with numerous club and historic events.
The first auto race at Sebring was held in 1950. This race was the brain child of Alec Ulmann , who worked with his wife Mary Ulmann and fellow businessman Colonel C.D. Richardson to put on this inagural race, modeled after the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. Held on New Year's Eve in 1950, this first race attracted 30 cars from across North America.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the track itself underwent a number of modifications to both improve the track and accommodate the active airport to the north. The length of the track was shortened, some sections removed, others repaved.
The track is now owned by Panoz Motorsports.
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