As many of you know, Sandra and I love racing. The Sebring International Raceway is a favorite venue.
   This weekend the Champ Car Endurance Series will be in Sebring. This race will be a bit unusual. It’s to be an overnight affair. The green flag will fall at 6:00pm Saturday evening June 29, with the checkers to come out Sunday morning June 30 at 6:00am.
   There have been races that have run into darkness – both for the ChampCar series and a Sebring. It appears that this will be the first ever exclusively overnight race to be run on the historic circuit.
A Unique Event
   “It’s the toughness of the Sebring track, combined with darkness,” said ChampCar Director of Operations, Bill Strong.
   He said that there will be some lighting at the most dangerous curves. However, drivers will have to rely on the most powerful allowable headlamps. They will light their way for the bulk of the 3.72 mile circuit.
   The stories of cars losing their way on the dark Sebring circuit during the early years of the race are legendary.
   The cars are less expensive, but the series has been aided by new technology.
   Helping drivers through the night will be use of the new Flagtronics system. This new racing software allows race officials to be aware of anything that’s happening on track at any time so they can respond accordingly.
   Race control can monitor each car’s location and speed. They have lap time and pit time information as well as track conditions. Drivers also will know if or when a major impact occurs on the raceway.
   “We’ll have lighted LED boards at each of the flagging stations so drivers will be aware of what’s going on,” Strong said.
A Stout Field
   Nearly 60 cars already have signed up for Sebring Under the Stars event. Competitors such as 4 Paws racing with their Toyota FRS, The Average Joes in a 2006 Mazda Miata, and the Rosary Rocketeers fielding a 1990 Mazda RX7 all have registered to run the event behind the headlights.
   One of the Florida Teams to run will be Team Infinity out of Palm Beach County. The entry is a favorite, due to the illuminated shark fin on on its roof.
   “We have a lot of professional drivers who show up periodically to race with us as well,” Strong said. “We’ve had both current and former IMSA, NASCAR, IndyCar and even F1 drivers who come in to do a stint with one of the teams.”
Who is ChampCar
   The series began in 2009 as the ChumpCar World Series. The name was changed in 2017. In ChampCar the slogan became “Real Racing, Real Tracks, Real Cheap Cars.”
   Like the 24 Hours of LeMons cars that ran at Sebring recently, these vehicles are valued at no more than $500. Unlike the LeMons cars, the Champ Cars put the emphasis more on racing, and less on decorations, costumes and themes.
   “Our mission is that it’s all about racing. We are trying to tear down the high dollar roadblocks that in the past have restricted people from getting fully involved in motorsports,” Strong said.  “It’ about enjoyment and bringing road racing back to where it was 50 years ago.”
   ChampCar’s Sebring Under the Stars is not a spectator event per se, people are allowed to come out and purchase a $20 “weekend pass,” to see the operation and view some racing action.
   “We’re hoping there are some fans who look at what we’re doing and want to build a car and join the series,” Strong said.
    Others can watch the action via live stream on the YouTube channel.