Sebring excited for 2018 race

March 16, 2018

Sebring excited for 2018 race

March 16, 2018

This year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring boasts “tremendous” potential, featuring several new components as part of the weekend slate.

Sebring International Raceway track president Wayne Estes noted the momentum the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is gathering along with a couple other Sebring-specific events.

Beyond the on-track activity, Estes highlighted the Michelin Pilot Experience On Track event and Craig Morgan country music concert, both held on Friday evening, as key items fans, observers and onlookers should pay attention to this year.

“First and foremost, the IMSA WeatherTech series has more new cars and new teams this year than for a long time in memory,” Estes said. “Seeing drivers like Montoya, Castroneves, Pagenaud, etc. being added, there are so many Indy 500 winners competing in this event.

“At Sebring Raceway you can’t impact those things. You have to put on a different show. We are constantly trying to do new things. We’ll have a Craig Morgan concert on Friday night, so 12 hours before the 12 hours. He’s a country artist that appeals to the crowd that comes here, and that’ll be something new and different for us.”

Michelin is the Official Tire of Sebring International Raceway. Estes said Friday night’s on-track event along with the track’s activation plans will be fun to watch.

“The Michelin product introduction here will be tremendous and something people will notice,” Estes said. “We’ve had a lot of fun with Michelin the last couple years, with the graffiti artists (see right, from 2017) who have been here and made their mark on the property in different places.

“I think we’ll try something new this year that fans will no doubt take notice of. We’ll put it right in their face!”

Estes was drawn into last year’s race, and wound up watching portions of it as a fan from Sebring’s fabled and notorious “Green Park.”

“I’m a firm believer that the real race fans here, are in Green Park,” he said.

“This race track is divided into three or four sections, really. The midway is mostly vendors and displays. The paddock side is competitors. The fans are in Green Park. So I always want to get out there and mix it up with those people; I want to see what they see, and find out their interests.

“I got on the fence in Turn 10 and I couldn’t tear myself away… Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Ford and BMW were all over each other at 3 p.m. in the afternoon! They were racing as if it was a 20-minute sprint race. These guys were killing it! It’s such a tremendous class.”

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