published: Friday, February 01, 2013
Porsches invade Sebring International Raceway
By BARRY FOSTER
SEBRING - It's the 20th anniversary for "The most exciting club race in North America." The 48 Hours of Sebring is coming the Sebring International Raceway this weekend.
Although the Porsche Club of America event is an amateur racing program, drivers from Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada are expected to join their fellow American competitors.
For the past two decades, the gathering has been the largest Club Race in North America with as many as 350-400 professional, semi-pro and hobbyist Porsche drivers challenging the 3.74-mile circuit at the Sebring Regional Airport. The drivers will span a variety of classes.
There also is a wide range of vehicles spanning nearly stock to vintage and classic racers. In addition to GT3 CUP cars, Porsches from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s dot the field.
In the past, pro teams such as Alex Job Racing, Kelly-Moss Racing, The Racers Group, Orbit Racing, NGT Racing and Kinetics Racing have taken to the track.
Kevin Buckler of The Racer's Group actually began attending at Sebring when his well-known team consisted of just himself and his wife in a pickup and an open trailer with his race car.
Since that time TRG has become a staple of such endurance classics as the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and the Rolex 24 in Daytona. The effort now encompasses four to five semi-trailer rigs filled with the latest Cup cars. The racers also span the gamut from top pros to "arrive & drive participants."
They have not missed a year since the beginning.
Nowhere else in club racing can you race in both day and nighttime sessions, then discuss the proper line for turn 17 or compare lap times with Sebring stalwarts such as Kevin Buckler, Wolf Henzler, Leh Keen, Andy Lally, Shane Lewis, Michael Levitas, Randy Pobst, David Murry or Spenser Pumpelly.
The three-day event, which begins today, allows drivers opportunities to take to the track, including advanced solo sessions, test and tune times, both day and night sprint races as well as a 90-minute enduro competition slated for Sunday.
The event runs through Sunday.
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