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Sebring International Raceway prepares to celebrate 70 years

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Posted at 5:45 AM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 08:35:47-04

SEBRING, Fla. — Sebring is a small town but it has a big title.

"Sebring is known as the birthplace of American endurance racing, the first race being held in 1952,” said Elizabeth Worley, Marketing Coordinator for Sebring International Raceway.

The Sebring International Raceway is the longest operating racing facility.

"So sports car racing, as we know it today was founded here in Sebring, Florida,” said Worley.

It’s celebrating 70 years in 2022, a place full of history.

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“Sebring International Raceway, originally was an Air Force training base for B17 pilots from about 1941 to 1947,” said Worley.

Parts of the track still use that original concrete. That’s what makes racing in Sebring so unique.

"Sebring has a lot of character, to say the least. So we are very known for being super bumpy, for being very difficult on not only cars, but also drivers. So when you see drivers, most of them will tell you that 24 hours at Daytona is a lot easier for them than just the Twelve Hours of Sebring,” said Worley.

Twelve Hours of Sebring is their biggest event of the year and a huge economic driver.

“This event really helps put Sebring on the map. You can go overseas, go to France, go to the Netherlands, different parts of the world and mention Sebring, and they know what Sebring is, because of this facility and this race,” said Worley.

However, the raceway is more than just that event. People use the track for things like private car clubs to manufacturer testing.

“Basically one of the biggest purposes of racing, specifically sports car racing, is to obtain technology,” said Worley.

The raceway has a big impact on the cars we drive every day and how they’re developed. Certain car companies come to the track and push their cars to the limit to see what will break.

“And they take that back to the manufacturer, and they help make the cars that we would purchase at a dealership better,” said Worley.

The raceway has had a huge impact on the community.

Tickets for the Twelve Hours of Sebring race in March just opened up. You can find more information here.