Sebring International Raceway

Logo Sebring International Raceway

Sebring International Raceway is the oldest road race track of the USA with over 60 years of history. It evolved from an airbase, that was used in World War II to train B-17 combat crews. It was in 1950 that the idea of using the airbase as a race track ensprouted from Alec Ullman’s brain.  Alec Ulman was a Russian born immigrant who work as an aeronautical engineer. Next to his job, he had a passion for cars and was a an automotive historian writing for the VMCCA Bulb Horn and Automobile Quarterly  and collector of  Bugattis and Hispano Suizas.

After he visited the Le Mans 24H in 1950, he became more and more enthusiast about an endurance race in the USA too, and he thought the Sebring Airbase would be the perfect place for that. December 31 was the day that the Sam Collier 6Hour Memorial Race took place. 30 cars from all over the USA participated, the race was won by Fritz Koster and Ralph Deshon in a Crosley Hot Shot.

In 1952, it was the first time that the Sebring International Raceway hosted the  Sebring 12 Hours. The race was a great succes and it grew into an annual endurance race, still surviving up to now. In 1959 the very first United States F1 Grand-Prix took place in Sebring, but because of the high costs and the small number of visitors, the F1 Grand Prix moved to Riverside Raceway in California.

Since then, the track has been in constant evolution. It has been adapted many times to fullfill modern safety regulations, despite the fact that even nowadays many consider the Sebring International Raceway as a rather unsafe and dangerous track.