The 60th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring
By Efrain Olivares
It is shaping up to be quite a year for sportscar racing in North America. Coming off of a hugely competitive 50th Rolex 24 at Daytona, we have now had the 60th Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. Both races featured completely different cars, but extremely strong racing. In the case of Sebring, it was not only the opener of the American Le Mans Series, but the opening round of the FIA-sanctioned World Endurance Championship.
|The crowd was out in force for this year's 12 Hours of Sebring, under nearly perfect weather in Central Florida.
In all, sixty three cars in five (or nine) classes took the green flag under the warm Florida sun and in front of thousands of fans in the middle of nowhere, Central Florida. While it was kind of a foregone conclusion that Audi would dominate the race overall (which they did) the battles in the rest of the classes, especially GT, meant the race was far from boring.
|It was an Audi R18 parade at the front of the field, but the racing was never dull throughout the 12 hour race.
One other thing: last season, the American Le Mans Series moved to a broadcast deal with ESPN in which all of the ALMS races are broadcast live online at ESPN3.com, with a tape-delayed broadcast on ESPN2 and ABC. The race can also be seen via XBox Live. This has caused quite an uproar amongst the sportscar racing fans in America, especially as Rolex Sports Car Series is shown live on SPEED Channel. While younger fans don’t seem resistant to watching racing live online, older fans are. To be fair, ESPN3.com isn’t available on every internet provider.
|Weather you saw it live in Sebring, watched it online on ESPN3.com, or saw the tape-delayed highlights on ABC, this year's Sebring was entertaining from start to finish. Now just don't complain about live TV to us.
So, there is a very real chance that you might not have had the chance to see 12 Hours of Sebring live. And, there were issues with the stream in the early hours, namely with a choppy picture. But, if you had ESPN3.com you could have seen it in its entirety – and with an HDMI cable, on your big screen. In my experience, most sportscar fans will go long lengths to enjoy their racing.