For those readers who are Porsche Motorsport fans you most likely already know the results of yesterday 59th Annual Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring. For those of you who recorded the event and/or are waiting to watch the rebroadcast just know that while this post isn’t about the race results. However, they are available via that link above, so consider this a spoiler alert. Instead, we thought we would take a minute and explain why we think those of you who haven’t yet given Porsche Motorsport a chance should do so. You see, attending an event like Sebring is so much more than just watching Porsches race.
For those interested, you can take a peak at our unedited notes we made during our visit to Sebring. While we didn’t publish this as a title story, it exists as an example of just a few things there are to see, do and experience. For a look at our pictures, including our tour of the Flying Lizard Paddock, check out the PorschePurist facebook page. If this is your first time visiting our Facebook page, be sure to “like” it and share with others (that’s what helps it to grow).
1. The Cars
A ticket to Sebring is a ticket to an automotive experience unlike most others. For Porsche enthusiasts it can be pure heaven. Even if you don’t like racing, you can’t help but like all the cars. A stroll through the paddock area will expose you to more than 50+ Porsche race cars (GT3 Cups, R’s and RSRs) and a whole host of LMP1 monsters from the likes of Audi, Peugot, Nissan, etc.
Then, in the event you need yet another reason to join the PCA, the PCA corral (sponsored by the local region(s) and various local Porsche dealers) provides a lot of entertainment at a very reasonable price. Each year at Sebring the local PCA chapter hosts a parking area and hospitality tent for members of the PCA. You can either buy a ticket and park your Porsche amongst hundreds of other Porsche owners and attendees. Or, if you park elsewhere, you can simply wander over and sign up using your membership number. The PCA corral gives you access to some much needed shade, perhaps a cold drink of water, visits from various Porsche race teams and most importantly, a chance to walk amongst a myriad of Porsche models ranging from the venerable 356 to the ultra-rare Carrera GT. These “corrals” can be found at most large Porsche racing events and are worth the price of admission alone.
2. The Sounds
In Confessions of a Motorsport Virgin we explained how “you just have to love a sport you can hear before you can see it.” Unfortunately, we’re simply not strong enough in the writing department to convey the visceral feeling one experiences from the banshee like wail emanating from 50 plus tuned engines as they race around the track near red line. It’s an assault that borders on sensory overload but one we’ve become addicted to. We tried to convey it to you in our post that offers the sounds of racing from the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but you really have to experience it in person to understand.
3. The Sites
Sebring’s world famous track winds through the Florida country side over a 3.7 mile track. On each side of this bumpy circuit is a wonderland of sites. Drive through Gate 1 and you’re on the Midway with the track and tower on your right and the “Party Zone” on your left. No trip to Sebring is complete without a trip to the Party Zone. Think of these infield areas as a kind of “spring break” experience for adults. While things are somewhat family friendly during the day, I’ll leave the evenings to your imagination.
4. The People
We’re big fans of people watching and a motorsport event like Sebring is an incredible opportunity to do so. People come from all walks of life, and all parts of the world, to attend this oldest of the US endurance races. What about the drivers themselves? I know of no other professional sport where you can rub elbows directly with the athletes while walking amongst their locker rooms and equipment (paddocks and cars). In fact, before each race is an autograph signing session that each and every driver participates in. These are men and women of motorsport legend and they seem happy to chat with you while signing almost anything you ask.
What about the Sebring Cows or the Drunk Monks? Have you met them? If not, you will, but more on that in a later post.
There are plenty of good reasons to come to Sebring or any other Porsche race for that matter. Our descriptions of the cars, sites, sounds and people barely scratch the surface. Why do you attend races? Comment belw and share with others who might be considering or are still on the fence. We believe everyone should experience at least one. Maybe your comment will be the catalyst that gets them over the hump.
Related Porsche Post
Porsche’s Results at the 59th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring