Sebring Track a Strong Community Business Partner and International Destination
SEBRING, Fla. – After being voted North America’s No. 1 motorsports event in 2019 and 2020 in a poll conducted by USA Today, the 2021 list again finds America’s oldest sports car endurance race at the top of the list, but this year in the second position behind the revered Indianapolis 500.
Since New Year’s Eve 1950 when the Sam Collier 6 Hour Memorial Race was run, and in 1952 the first 12-Hour endurance race, Sebring International Raceway has made the name “Sebring” a recognizable word around the world. In addition to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which attracts massive crowds and international attention, the circuit draws more than 400,000 high-net-worth visitors a year for testing, club events, automotive manufacturer activities, performance driving schools and more. Most of these 400,000 visitors stay in Highlands County lodging, eat in local restaurants and patronize other local businesses.
This local lodging generates an estimated $500,000 in Tourist Development Taxes (TDT) annually which is then reinvested by the Highlands County’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) to further promote Highlands County as a preferred visitor destination.
“Any time the prestige of a race can be mentioned in the same sentence as the Indianapolis 500, American’s oldest motorsports race, you have a special event, and we are again proud that the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is listed among North America’s most significant motorsports events,” said Wayne Estes, president and general manager of Sebring International Raceway. “The 2021 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring was a spectacular race, with tremendous competition and one of the first events in America to return to what can be viewed as a normal.
“But so too was the Indianapolis 500, with Helio Castroneves capturing his fourth Indy 500 title in dramatic fashion. We are honored to share a position on USA Today’s list with not only the Indianapolis 500 but eight other deserving events, including another IMSA event at our sister facility at Michelin Raceway North America – the Motul Petit Le Mans.”
Sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), the Sebring circuit was originally an Army Air Corps World War II B-17 training base and in 2022 will celebrate the 70th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Every year the race attracts a large and enthusiastic crowd over four days of practice and racing each March, and its faithful fans as well as notoriously bumpy racing surface make Sebring a legendary stop on the IMSA series.
Sebring International Raceway is nestled among the orange groves and cattle ranches of Highlands County Florida. The race began in 1952 and includes on its list of winners Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill, Bobby Rahal, Hurley Haywood, Al Holbert and Tom Kristensen. Sebring’s punishing 3.74-mile concrete and asphalt circuit is also among the world’s leading test circuits for race teams and automotive manufacturers. Additionally, the circuit is active more than 250 days a year for clubs, schools, vintage racing and other special events.
The 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice list is:
- Indianapolis 500
- Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
- SCORE Baja 1000
- Motul Petit Le Mans
- King of the Hammers
- United States Grand Prix
- Maxxis Casey Folks Vegas to Reno
- Bristol Dirt Race
- Daytona 500
- BF Goodrich Tires Mint 400