We always love the fun and excitement of the Sebring International Raceway. It’s hard to beat the sights and sounds of a road race there. This week, the Historic Sportscar Racing Classic 12 Hour at Sebring, Pistons and Props, presented by the Alan Jay Automotive Network will return to the track there for the third straight year.
Pistons and Props is a salute both to America’s Oldest Sportscar Endurance Race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and to Hendicks Field, the former World War II airbase from which the racetrack was carved.
It’s a wonderful series of races, as hundreds of competitors from Historic Sportcar Racing descend on the iconic 3.74 mile circuit to run where the likes of Sterling Moss, Mario Andretti, Carol Shelby and Bobby Rahal have run to victory. In this event, a wide array of World War II warbirds and civilian aircraft also set down and go on static display as part of the nostalgia.
Young and old alike gather to watch the planes set down on the back stretch of the raceway, then taxi into the paddock for fans to have an up close look.
This year’s event promises an expanded collection of legendary airplanes, including the North American P-51D “Mustang” of Jim Lyons dubbed “Sweetie Face.” Some of the planes to be on display this year are worth more than two million dollars – but generally are considered priceless treasures of American history and mid-century military might.
On track the race weekend will feature the HSR Sebring Historics that includes the season-ending rounds of the full-season WeatherTech Sprint, Sasco Sports International/American Challenge and B.R.M. Enduro Challenge series – so we know there will be some spirited racing.
The HSR series brings a number of vintage greats and fan favorites to Sebring. This year’s entry list includes a 2005 Audi R8 LMP and a 1962 No. 1 Lotus 23B. The British-based RW Racing Services team will be bringing a rare 1964 No. 88 AC Cobra as well.
But you don’t have to be either an aircraft or sports car aficionado to appreciate the beautiful planes and automobiles assembled for this event. Moreover, with a paddock pass you can get close enough to do a selfie with these beautiful machines.
You also get your run of the place. You can watch from the Fango or Gurney terrace above the pit structure or hang on the walls to watch the cars roar by in a number of different areas.
It all begins on Wednesday, November 28 with test and tune sessions. Racing will begin Thursday afternoon and a special night practice session also will be held. Friday will be more racing with the ceremonial arrival of the planes set for 4:30 that afternoon. Racing continues throughout the weekend with an awards ceremony Sunday afternoon.