Motorsport

The successful history of Porsche at the Sebring 12 Hours

1978 Sebring 12H - Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935 - by Brian Redman/ Charles Mendez / Bob Garretson.

Porsche has a long and successful history in endurance racing, with countless victories at some of the most prestigious events around the world. Florida seems to be very generous to Porsche, proof are the successes Porsche achieved at the Daytona 24 Hours, and the Sebring 12 Hours. The Sebring 12 Hours stands out as one of the toughest challenges for both drivers and cars. Over the years, Porsche has enjoyed many successes at this grueling race, establishing itself as one of the dominant forces in Sebring history. The race is part of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and is considered one of the most demanding races on the calendar, both for drivers and for cars.

Sebring 1960 - Porsche 718 RS60 (718-042) - Hans Herrmann - Olivier Gendebien
Sebring 1960 – Porsche 718 RS60 (718-042) – Hans HerrmannOlivier Gendebien

Porsche has been a fixture at the Sebring 12 Hours since the early days of the race, and the German automaker has enjoyed considerable success over the years. In fact, Porsche holds the record for the most overall wins at the race, with 18 victories to its name. This impressive tally includes several remarkable performances, each one a testament to the skill and determination of Porsche’s drivers and engineers.

1971 Sebring 12H
Vic Elford – Gerard Larousse – 1971 Sebring 12H

One of Porsche’s most memorable victories at Sebring came in 1971, when the automaker secured a one-two finish in the race. The winning car was a Porsche 917K driven by Vic Elford and Gerard Larrousse, who dominated the race from start to finish. The second-place car was also a Porsche 917K, driven by Jo Siffert and Derek Bell. This impressive result was a testament to Porsche’s engineering prowess, as the Porsche 917K was one of the most advanced and successful sports cars of its time.

AJ Foyt’s last win as a driver- Sebring 1985 with Bob Wollek.

Another notable Porsche victory at Sebring came in 1985 when the automaker won the race with a Porsche 962 driven by A.J. Foyt, Al Unser Sr., and Bob Wollek. This victory was particularly significant as it marked the first time that a team had won the race with a car powered by an engine with fuel injection. Porsche’s innovative technology gave the team a significant advantage, and they were able to dominate the race and secure a comfortable victory.

Sebring 2008- Porsche RS Spyder, Timo Bernhard (D), Romain Dumas (F), Emmanuel Collard (F)

Porsche’s success at Sebring has continued in more recent years, with the automaker securing several class wins in the 2000s and 2010s. In 2008, Porsche won the race with a Porsche RS Spyder driven by Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, and Emmanuel Collard. This victory was particularly impressive as it came in the LMP2 class, which is traditionally dominated by larger, more powerful prototypes. Porsche’s RS Spyder proved to be a nimble and reliable car, and the team was able to capitalize on their advantage to secure a well-deserved victory. So far this is the last overall victory for Porsche. 

Porsche 12 Hours of Sebring Porsche 911 RSR (911), Porsche GT Team: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frederic Makowiecki, Porsche 911 RSR (912), Porsche GT Team: Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni
Porsche 911 RSR (911), Porsche GT Team: Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, Frederic Makowiecki, Porsche 911 RSR (912), Porsche GT Team: Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni

In recent years, Porsche has continued to dominate at the Sebring 12 Hours, with the company’s GT class cars winning multiple championships. In 2018, Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary by taking a 1-2 finish in the GTLM class, with the Porsche 911 RSRs driven by Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy crossing the finish line in first and second place, respectively.

The overall victories of Porsche at the Sebring 12H

Click on the link in the year column underneath to find out more about that particular victory. Find out more about the drivers by clicking their name.

Year Drivers Car Team
1960 Olivier Gendebien / Hans Herrmann Porsche 718 RS60 Joakim Bonnier Racing
1968 Jo Siffert / Hans Herrmann Porsche 907 Porsche
1971 Vic Elford / Gerard Larousse Porsche 917 Martini Racing
1973 Hurley Haywood / Peter Gregg / Dave Helmick Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Dave Helmick
1976 Al Holbert / Michael Keyser Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Holbert Porsche-Audi
1977 George Dyer/ Brad Frisselle Porsche 911 Carrera RSR George Dyer
1978 Brian Redman / Charles Mendez / Bob Garretson Porsche 935 Dick Barbour Racing
1979 Bob Akin / Rob McFarlin / Rob Woods Porsche 935 Dick Barbour Racing
1980 John Fitzpatrick / Dick Barbour Porsche 935 K3 Dick Barbour Racing
1981 Bruce Leven / Hurley Haywood / Al Holbert Bayside Disposal Porsche935/80
1982 John Paul Sr. / John Paul Jr. Porsche 935 JLP John Paul Sr.
1983 Kees Nierop / Wayne Baker / Jim Mullen Porsche 934 Personalized Autohaus
1984 Mauricio de Narvaez / Hans Heyer / Stefan Johansson Porsche 935J De Narvaez Enterprises
1985 Bob Wollek / A.J. Foyt Porsche 962 Preston Henn Swap Shop Racing
1986 Bob Akin / Hans-Joachim Stuck / Jo Gartner Porsche 962 Bob Akin Racing
1987 Bobby Rahal / Jochen Mass Porsche 962 Bayside Disposal Racing
1988 Klaus Ludwig / Hans-Joachim Stuck Porsche 962 Bayside Disposal Racing
2008 Timo Bernhard/ Romain Dumas / Emmanuel Collard Porsche RS Spyder Penske Racing

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Pictures courtesy Porsche AG and unknown