SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2019) – When you mention racing at Sebring International Raceway, the word unique is often used. With Sunday’s Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring, a tradition unique to Sebring International Raceway will return as winners of the four-hour season-ending race will celebrate with fresh Florida orange juice.
The City of Sebring’s long history, and that of surrounding communities for hundreds of miles, has included prideful citrus growers who have delivered Florida orange juice to the country and the world for generations. Like most Sebring International Raceway traditions, celebrating in winners circle with a product produced in Florida will honor the history, heritage and future of Florida’s agricultural industry.
"This tradition was introduced at Sebring years ago, and while it has not returned every year we intend to reintroduce the celebration in Seal-Krete Winners Circle this weekend, continue it with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March and other racing events held at the Raceway," said Wayne Estes, Sebring International Raceway president and general manager. "Orange juice has been the official beverage of Florida since 1967, and with the majority of all citrus fruit in the United States grown here, we proudly represent the industry and local growers."
The Sebring tradition of winning drivers celebrating with orange juice began 11 years ago, but the presentation of orange blossom wreaths in winners circle dates back to the 1950s. Legend has it that a change from wreaths to orange juice was made so that the wreaths would not cover the important sponsor logos on the driver’s suits.
The second annual Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore heads to Sebring International Raceway Saturday and Sunday. The weekend will feature a wide variety of IMSA classes including the popular LMP3 prototypes, GT3, and GT4 cars.
Tickets will be sold at the gate and are $10 for the weekend. There is no charge for car parking (RV parking fee is $20). Gates open at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Military veterans with ID will be admitted free all weekend.
The 4-hour feature race starts at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday and will be preceded by the popular grid walk for fans. Last year’s Michelin Encore at Sebring was won by the ANSA Ligier P3 of Kyle Kirkwood and Roman DeAngelis in a thrilling battle with the K2R Motorsports Ligier. The final margin of victory was less than three seconds.