In all honesty I was not looking forward to this years 12 Hours of Sebring. This feeling of resignation reflected not on the quality of racing or the venue, but simply on the local climate. As we are all aware, Sebring's original use was as an airport. That means lots of bare, sun-soaked concrete, with little shade to provide even a brief reprieve. The sun does seem to have a particular vendetta against me, and as such, I do my best to avoid it.
This year was different. Rain gear and umbrellas were the dress code. I did hear a lot of moaning and groaning about the atypical weather on offer from the Sunshine State. However, it did create a very interesting environment, both on and off the track.
First, it grouped the classes together, with GTLM and Prototype trading places. Were we about to see another "Road Atlanta" style upset?
Second, the cars all looked spectacular skimming across the track, their massive rooster tails illustrating the aerodynamic affects of the rear wings.
Third, traction was a fleeting ally. Now, not to sound too immature, but we do enjoy some sideways action.
The race was red flagged for a sizable chunk of the 12 hours due to worsening conditions, with particular concern for the TV crews and corner workers. Crews did their best to keep themselves and their cars dry.
As the rain waned to a drizzle and the racing line became visible again, the drivers waded back onto the track with the main objective of keeping the car out of the barriers.
These conditions meant a lot of yellow flags were flown, but this kept everyone nicely grouped and created a lot of all out sprints to the finish line.
Sebring proved that it's always worth a visit, and then some. The race was one for the history books. Now, if we could just get the LMP1 and LMP2 cars back out there!