I arrived to Sebring International Raceway on midday on Thursday via a terrible rental car off Turo filled with all my camping supplies and some food to hold me over for the next 72hrs. The guys from camp drove a truck out and picked me up at my car so that we could carry all my junk from the parking to camp. Once I arrived at camp inside turn 7 and set up, it was non-stop noise either from racecars, music, partying or generators for the next 3 days.

The Atmosphere & Fans

59,621 steps equating to 27.6 miles walked from Thursday – Saturday at the 72nd running of the Sebring 12 Hour. The grounds and areas to which you can watch the race are almost endless at this 3.741 mi raceway. As you walk around you experience this atmosphere like no other race, all created by the diehard fans. And some of the setups at Turn 10 had to have taken all week to setup! Aside from what the fans setup, where you are geographically makes this a very hot and humid climate but produces some of the best sunrises and sunsets.

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Camp

During my brief time in Florida I met a group of people that have been going to the race and camping inside turn 7 for about the last 15 years. Even though I was a stranger to most all of them, they welcomed me in and fed me hotdogs, as well as fed hotdogs to all the fans passing by camp!


MX-5 Cup

Friday’s MX-5 Cup race started almost as exciting as it ended, with the top cars finishing with just one-tenth of a second difference! Check out all the close racing from the Whelen Mazda MX-5 event below.


Super Trofeo

The Super Trofeo North America racing is quite exciting at turn 7 during the later hours of the day on Friday. Diving into the turn passing each other at the braking zone, lots of contact throughout the corner and then kicking up tons of dust on the outside of the corner as they fight for position and traction.


Porsche Carrera Cup

The Porsche’s took to the track right at sunset and drove into dusk. I wish I had a media pass to get to the really good positions for sunset, but I worked with what I had at Turn 7, and the dust they kicked up did make for some good shots.


Michelin Pilot Challenge

Rewinding the clock on Friday a bit to midday we had the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 – IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge 2 Hour Race. Despite it’s long name, there was some great racing. After the pit walk, I caught most of the action between Turn 3, 4, 5 and turn 14.


The 12 Hours of Sebring

The Main Event of the weekend! Starting at 9:40 AM and Ending at 9:40 PM. I woke up early and hoofed it over to the Grid Walk, then made my way to Turn 3 for the Start. After capturing the opening sky divers and fly over, they lined up and the green flag flew! The GTP and LMP2 cars made it through with no real drama, but the GTD cars did not. The number 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari lost it coming out of Turn 1 spinning and somehow the rest of the field avoided collision with it as it spun and went backwards across the track. However, the Pfaff Motorsports no 9 McLaren did get a flat from some debris and ended incurring damage that kept them in the pits for too long to be competitive for the rest of the race.

Through Midday, I made my way around various corners, mostly on the west side of the track. Exciting restarts and changes in the lead for the GTD Pro Class with the no 77 of AO Racing Rexy the 911 leading through a bunch of the midday hours. Around Hour 8 was one of the craziest moments of the race with the lead, Whelen Cadillac Racing no 31, being driven by Pipo Derani, clipped a GTD car and had a huge shunt into the tires at turn 9. This happened as I was at turn 7 and I hopped a passing golf cart to make it down to capture the crews working quickly to get Derani out of the car.

Into the night hours there were quite a bit of restarts and as the race came to an end, there was some great action at Turn 7 with the No 40 of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti making a final pass on the no 01 Cadillac Racing in the braking zone of turn 7. I missed this as it is a bit hard to tell what car is what in the night as your looking through a view finder. However, I did get a ton of good shots throughout the day, all found in the gallery below.

As the race closed out, fireworks blasted off and the couches where lit on fire.

All Images © Theodore Pieper | Please Contactted@vconceptsllc.com for Commercial Licensing.

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