List: Ten Great 12 Hours Of Sebring Winners

By Brandon Turkus

March 20, 2012


Ford GT40: The story of Ford’s unsuccessful takeover of Ferrari and the resulting war between the two over several Le Mans 24-hour races is a well-known bedtime story. What may not be so well known is that the GT40 proved quite capable on the retired airfields at Sebring, winning the race twice, in 1967 and 1969. It also had some fairly well known pilots, as Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren drove the Mk IV that won the ‘67 race.


Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo: Nissan jumped into the IMSA in 1985, with its GTP ZX-Turbo, but didn’t compete at Sebring until 1989. Once it started running though, the ZX was tough to catch, winning the Floridian race in 1989 and 1990. In fact, it won the IMSA championship in its first full year of competition, 1989. The Nissan NPT-90 eventually replaced it. (photo credit: The359)


Audi R10 TDI: The R10 TDI started the diesel trend in endurance racing, running and winning its first outing at Sebring in 2006. Thanks to the efficiency of the 5.5-liter, biturbocharged V-12 diesel engine, the R10 went on to win at Sebring in 2007, as well. (photo credit: O. Monge)


Peugeot 908 HDi FAP: Peugeot’s return to the world of endurance racing with a diesel of its own limited Audi’s dominance. The 908 won Sebring in 2010 with an impressive lineup of Formula 1 drivers (Marc Gené, Alex Wurz, and Anthony Davidson), and came back to win again in 2011.


Porsche Carrera RSR: In 1973, Porsche’s Carrera RSR took its first of three wins at Sebring, driven by legendary racer Hurley Haywood, Peter Gregg, and Dave Helmick. The Carrera RSR ended up snagging two more wins, in 1976 and 1977, before finally being outpaced by more advanced vehicles. (photo credit: Fred Lewis)


Ferrari 333 SP: Ferrari’s 333 SP was its first sports car racer, following a twenty-year absence from the discipline. It debuted during the 1994 IMSA championship, and won its first 12 Hours of Sebring in 1995, en route to winning its first championship. It ended up losing out in Florida in 1996, but came back with wins and 1997 and 1998. The 333 SP was the last winner at Sebring before it became an ALMS event. (photo credit: Tony Harrison)


Porsche 962: With four wins to its credit, this Group C bruiser arrived right in the middle of the IMSA’s heyday. With drivers like A.J. Foyt and the incomparable Hans Stuck. Based off of the 956, the 962 dominated Sebring and won the IMSA championship from 1985 to 1988, before getting outclassed by Nissan’s GTP cars. (photo credit: Richard Taylor)


Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa: Besides being one of the most sought after and expensive cars of all time, the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa has an impressive Sebring resume to its name. It won the race four times between 1958 and 1962, before being replaced by Ferrari’s racing prototypes. During its time, the 250 was driven by racing greats like Phil Hill and Dan Gurney. (photo credit: Louis Galanos)


Audi R8: Not only one of the greatest Sebring racers of all time, quite possibly one of the greatest racecars ever built. The R8 won Sebring six times between 2000 and 2006 (along with utterly dominating the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the same time span.) The R8 was the larger part of Audi’s eight years of endurance racing dominance. Even after its replacement, the R10 TDI arrived, the R8 was still a popular and competitive privateer racer.


Porsche 935: Having won Sebring no fewer than seven times, Porsche’s turbocharged, slant-nosed 935 was based off of the standard Porsche 930 (also known as the 911 Turbo). The FIA Group 5-based 935 simply dominated at Sebring, winning each race from 1978 to 1984. Its record was impressive outside of Sebring as well, where it won Le Mans, the 24 Hours Of Daytona, and the Nürburgring 1000-kilometer race.

Ford Nissan Audi Peugeot Porsche Ferrari Porsche Ferrari Audi Porsche
Last weekend was the 60th running of the 12 Hours Of Sebring, one America’s most famous endurance race. Traditionally looked at as a tune-up for the 24 Hours Of Le Mans that takes place in June, Sebring has played host to some of the world’s greatest drivers, cars, and teams over the course of six decades of racing. It’s been a major race in three distinct championship series (World Sportscar Championship, IMSA, and the American Le Mans Series).

This year’s race was won by the Audi R18 of Team Joest, and was driven by Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, and Dindo Capello.