Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sebring, Florida

We did absolutely nothing today.  That said we did go into a town near us called, Sebring do to a little shopping and ate lunch.  
 Sebring is also where our dentist is located and it has some interesting history too.

 Sebring was founded in 1912. It was named after George E. Sebring, a pottery manufacturer from Ohio who developed the city. 
Sebring is a city in Florida, nicknamed "The City on the Circle", in reference to Circle Drive, the center of the Sebring Downtown Historic District.  It has a  population of 10,491.

 Sebring is the home of the Sebring International Raceway, created on a former airbase, first used in 1950. It hosted the 1959 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix, but is currently best known as the host of the 12 Hours of Sebring, an annually held American Le Mans Series race.

 Nearby Highlands Hammock State Park is a popular attraction.  We have never camped there, but going through it is the shortest way to the dentist in Sebring and it is a really pretty and interesting drive.

This next bit of interesting information is for the race fans.  I am really not that big of a fan, but found the information interesting.  We have not gone to the race.  Rog says he probably will not because "12 hours!!!!"  Oh well, I must agree. 
Sebring International Raceway is a road course auto racing facility.
Sebring (pronounced "sea bring") Raceway is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States, its first race being run in 1950. Sebring is one of the classic race tracks in North American sports car racing, and plays host to the12 Hours of Sebring, one of the legs of the unofficial triple crown of endurance racing.
The raceway occupies a portion of Sebring Regional Airport, an active airport for private and commercial traffic that was originally built as Hendricks Army Airfield, a WW II training base for the U.S. Army Air Forces.

The first, and still the oldest, European-style endurance race in the Americas owes its genesis to a Russian-born aeronautical engineer (MIT, class of 1928) and entrepreneur named Alec Ulmann.
In the booming years after World War 2 Ulmann was in the surplus aircraft business, so he frequently dropped in at a former military airfield in central Florida where many old planes and parts were still to be found.
But Ulmann also was a car enthusiast, especially of road racing. Sebring’s long, broad runways and intricate network of access roads sparked a dream.
He realized it in 1950—barely. It was December 31st at 3 in the afternoon when a gaggle of sports car drivers executed a “Le Mans Start” by running across the rough runway cement and jumping into their cockpits for a 6-hour enduro.
Many big, fast sports cars—Allards, Aston Martins, Ferraris, Jaguars—raced into that Sunday night, but under Ulmann’s “Index of Performance” handicap formula, pure speed wasn’t necessarily the key. Tampa resident Vic Sharp had driven over in his American-made Crosley Hot Shot simply to watch the fun, but he wound up loaning his tiny, 724-cc roadster to a pair of racers named Bob Deshon and Fritz Koster. They stripped off the windshield and bumpers, drove regularly…and won!
Imagine that New Year’s Eve paddock party. 

Ulmann spent the next 15 months pulling together the first 12-hour race, which was flagged into life early in the afternoon of Saturday, March 15, 1952. A Ferrari led the early going but dropped out when its differential broke, and in the pitch blackness of 1:06 the following morning a Frazier-Nash took the victory flag.


No comments:

Post a Comment