August is Motor Sports Awareness Month and the Sebring International Raceway already is celebrating. The Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring has been voted the best motorsports event in North America.

That designation comes from fans voting in the USA Today’s ’10best’ poll. It is a month-long election that pits 20 top racing events against each other.

It’s the Fans

Members of the so-called ‘Sebring Nation’ rose to the challenge. They voted the 12 Hours over other such internationally-known events as the Indianapolis 500. Attendees line up at the front gate at the start of March, waiting for weeks for the gates to open.

The race runs the third week of March each year.

“The incredible passion that Sebring fans continually display for this nation’s most historic sports car race both inspires and overwhelms us in great and a myriad of ways,” stated Sebring President & General Manager Wayne Estes .

Sebring is both the most popular motorsports event and the oldest sports car endurance race in North America.

Last year, the 12 Hours shattered all previous attendance records. There were three major races that weekend. The World Endurance Championship and the Michelin Sports Car Challenge also ran endurance races. Both will return this year for what is dubbed “Super Sebring.

Banners adorn the pit structure showing the winning car makes over the nearly 70 years of the running of the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The History

The race began on the runways of the Sebring Airport in 1953. Since that time, professional drivers, movie stars, barons of industry and others have challenged the now 3.74 mile circuit. It has always been a fan favorite. Even when the race was cancelled in 1974 due to the gas crisis, 5,000 people showed up just to be there.

The fan base has grown with it. Now there are literally thousands of fans who boast several decades of attendance. Many set up colorful campgrounds for the four day event. There are groups in special dress who roam the grounds that encircle the 17-turn road course. Some dress as cows (really) and others as monks.

The group at Turn 10 is known internationally. Their Lee Self designed logo appears on many of the cars in the WeatherTesch Sportscar Championship series.

Sebring has been in the USA Today’s 10best competition jn the past. They moved from sixth place, to fourth to the number one slot in the past three ballots. This year they bested 19 other well-known races including the Indianapolis 500.

More than just the 12 Hours, Sebring hosts racing events all year long. There are other road racing series, drivers schools and even seasonal drag racing along their famous front straightaway. More about that can be found at the Sebring Intenational Raceway website.

A Relaxed View

One of the best ways to watch any of the road racing events, is to stop by Seven – The Sebring Raceway Hotel. It overlooks Turn Seven – or The Hairpin as it is known. Fans can get both something to eat or drink, and watch the cars from the back deck.

Fans can see the cars from the patio at Seven – The Sebring Raceway Hotel.

We have attended the 12 Hours and other races at Sebring. They always are fun and there’s plenty to see and do. Whether you are a race fan or not, the 12 Hours of Sebring is a great experience. And the 2020 race should be better than ever.

It comes as no surprise they top the leader board in this year’s USA 10best poll.