A new sponsor and event updates and details for the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Alan Jay Automotive Network Classic 12 Hours of Sebring, Pistons and Props, at Sebring International Raceway, Dec. 1-4, have been announced by HSR officials.
The on-track and on-the-runways celebration of the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring auto race and historic Hendricks Field, the iconic military and civil aviation facility on which the race is run every year, will be among the first events of its kind in the United States, and perhaps the world.
The lasting connection between historic race cars and aviation will come to life again with sportscars and classic airplanes parked next to each other on Sebring’s hallowed ground. Still in part an active airport, the Classic 12 Hour, Pistons and Props, will see vintage aircraft land on one of the Sebring runways and taxi into the paddock to be displayed right alongside the historic race cars. A group of race car drivers will be asked to judge the planes for “best in show” honor and much more.
In short, classic aircraft and historic race cars, both of which have made the Sebring airfield legendary on a global scale, will join together to celebrate the magnificent facility at the Classic 12 Hours of Sebring, Pistons and Props, this December.
“It is an honor for HSR to join with Sebring International Raceway in recreating seven decades of the 12 Hours of Sebring and to pay tribute to the iconic facility’s rich aviation history,” said HSR President David Hinton. “On the racing side, we will be able to showcase all generations of sportscar racing in the United States with the iconic makes of the 1950s all the way up to modern Daytona Prototypes that will soon to be retired from IMSA.”
Today’s announcements include numerous event updates and details and the addition of Classic Motorsports Magazine as presenting sponsor for the Alan Jay Automotive Network Classic 12 Hours of Sebring.
Following the model of its successful HSR Classic Motorsports Magazine Mitty each April at Road Atlanta, the leading vintage and historic motorsports publication will support the Classic 12 Hours of Sebring with car club corrals, vendor areas, sponsor and spectator promotions and much more.
“This is such an exciting new event for HSR and we are thrilled to not only have the race track involved but also the Sebring Airport Authority, Alan Jay Automotive Network and Classic Motorsports Magazine,” Hinton said. “I truly believe that this has all the ingredients to make this event a ‘must attend’ on the worldwide motorsports and aviation special events calendars.”
Event updates and details now available include the Classic 12 Hour race format, event classes and run groups, the provisional event schedule and the race entry form. Following the format established by the successful Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA, the Classic 12 Hour will feature six different Run Groups showcasing race cars from similar eras competing in different classes.
The Sebring event weekend will also include the season-ending events for the 2016 HSR sprint and enduro series, including the year-end awards celebration.
A United States Army Air Force (UAAF) base, Hendricks Field officially operated from January 1942 until Dec. 31, 1945. During its operation the base trained hundreds of combat crews, primarily in B-17 “Flying Fortress” bombers.
Originally called the Sebring Basic Flying School, the base was renamed Hendricks Field in honor of Lieutenant Laird W. Hendricks, Jr., a Floridian and West Point Graduate who was killed in England while training Royal Air Force pilots prior to the United States entering World War II.
2016 marks both the 75th Anniversary of the opening of the airfield and what would have been Lieutenant Laird’s 100th birthday.
After the war, the military base was turned over to the City of Sebring. Today, the Sebring Regional Airport & Commerce Park, owned and managed by the Sebring Airport Authority, is recognized for its prime location and over 40 years of experience in project development and property management.
Sebring’s motorsports heritage began with the running of the Sam Collier Six Hour Memorial Grand Prix on Dec. 31, 1950. Founder and promoter Alec Ulmann then established the first 12 Hours of Sebring in 1952. The race quickly evolved in America’s most important international road racing event.
Sebring International Raceway’s legendary 3.74-mile road course still utilizes portions of the original Hendricks Field concrete taxiways and runways. In addition to the annual 12-hour classic, the Sebring race circuit is utilized over 300 days per year for club events, testing, racing schools and other activities.
Tickets for the HSR Alan Jay Automotive Network Classic 12 Hours of Sebring, Pistons and Props, at Sebring International Raceway, Dec. 1-4, are available at www.hsrtickets.com.