Super Sebring - Endurance Racing in Florida

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Last weekend I took some time off work and traveled down to "beautiful" Sebring, Florida (for anyone that's been to Sebring, you know why I put beautiful in quotation marks). The town is pretty much known for one thing and one thing only: a world famous sports car race that takes place in March every year. This was my first time attending the event and I was not disappointed, as fans were given a double-dose of endurance racing.

While the race weekend typically consists of a single, 12-hour endurance race on Saturday, this year there was an 8-hour race put on by another series on Friday evening. While the weather was hot (85ºF) and sunny for the majority of the weekend, Saturday started started out with some pretty heavy rains. Fortunately the rains eventually cleared and the sun came out, but while the rain was around it provided for some great photo opportunities.

While I did take my Z6 with me, most of the images were shot with my D500's and a 300/2.8, 70-200/2.8, and 16-80. The D500 continues to prove its worth as an incredible sports and action camera, and the Z6 wasn't too bad either. I had a great time at the race, and am definitely planning on going back next year! I've included a selection of my favorite images from the weekend below, but the full gallery of images can be viewed here.

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Joined
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Such an appealing series on so many levels! Very, very well done!

Though I'm responding purely to the artistry of your photographs, I've got another totally separate emotional reaction because I lived as a child in Lake Placid, which is the next town south on Route 27 from Sebring. This was in the 1950s and 1960s when we went to Sebring to see its one movie theater because Lake Placid didn't have one. I've only met three people who have known about Lake Placid (Florida): one that I don't remember, one that had a sister that bought a house in the subdivision that previously was the cattle ranch I lived on and that my father managed, and my boss in the 1990s who was big into race car driving and had been to Sebring for the races.

Having said that, I never saw a race at Sebring. Other than going to its movie theater, the biggest memory of Sebring was when my father and I went there to pick up some feed for the cattle ranch. The racing trials (or whatever they are called) were in progress at the time and my father crossed the race track. I was only about 8 years old and it scared me to death. I'm sure that wouldn't be allowed today but that was decades ago.

Congratulations again on a wonderful series!
 
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Winter Haven, florida
Great images, thanks. This brought back some great memories. I raced and drove the sebring track for about 10 years with scca, and several of the driving clubs. You think watching it is fun, try driving it!! I could eat a banana sideways most weekends. What a track.
Gary
 
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Such an appealing series on so many levels! Very, very well done!
Thank you Mike. Having grown up in the area, you're well aware of the general area around Sebring. Not much there outside of farmland (and a race track)! Our hotel was about an hour north of Sebring in Winter Haven. That's probably the biggest downside to attending the race: lodging. Hotels in the Sebring area sell out very most (mostly to the teams participating), and the fans are left with two options: camp at the track, or be stuck with a fairly lengthy drive to and from the track.
 
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Who is the guy with the hat?
Patrick Long, an American-born factory Porsche driver.

Great images, thanks. This brought back some great memories. I raced and drove the sebring track for about 10 years with scca, and several of the driving clubs. You think watching it is fun, try driving it!! I could eat a banana sideways most weekends. What a track.
Gary
Thank you Gary. Sebring is something else to see in person. It is very fast, and VERY bumpy.

I see your location as listed in Winter Haven. That's where we ended up staying during the race weekend, making the hour long trip each way for three days (my biggest complaint about Sebring is the lack of local lodging, but overall it's worth it).
 
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Having said that, I never saw a race at Sebring. Other than going to its movie theater, the biggest memory of Sebring was when my father and I went there to pick up some feed for the cattle ranch. The racing trials (or whatever they are called) were in progress at the time and my father crossed the race track. I was only about 8 years old and it scared me to death. I'm sure that wouldn't be allowed today but that was decades ago.

Congratulations again on a wonderful series!
I lived in Melbourne as a kid. When I was in high school a bunch of us went to Sebring
(1964) for what was then a 24 hour race, or an excuse to party and get drunk. :)
 
Last edited:
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wow, just wow!. One of the best sets of racing photos I have seen! (i am 50+ and my user name is based on my 911 turbo i used to track)
Thank you very much John

I lived in Melbourne as a kid. When I was in high school a bunch of us went to Sebring for what was then a 24 hour race, or an excuse to party and get drunk. :)
There are still many, many people that only go for the party, so things aren't so different as they were back when you went.

These are all terrific!! Congrats!!
Thank you Ken.
 
Joined
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Winter Haven, florida
Sebring is something else to see in person. It is very fast said:
You made me remember laying under the cars after a race weekend at sebring. If there was a bolt you could see, you put a torque wrench on it because it was loose. Important stuff was all wired shut. But what a drive!!
Again, your images bring that all back to life.
Thanks again
Gary
 
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Great automotive shots Ian! Any chance you shot any with the Z6 + 300mm 2.8 VR
Jon,

This is the only image that I have with the 300/2.8. I had a few others, but deleted them due to lacking the tack sharpness I expect in an image like this. I used the Z6 mostly for the paddock walk and to shoot a bit of video. I'm heading back to the track in early May, and will give the Z6 a more thorough workout.

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