Recently crowned 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion Austin Cindric is set to compete in this weekend’s Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic Sebring 12 Hour presented by the Alan Jay Automotive Network at Sebring International Raceway.
Having clinched the NASCAR Xfinity Series title on November 7 at Phoenix International Raceway driving a Team Penske Ford, Cindric will spend time Thursday-Sunday as a co-driver in the CRP Racing-prepared 2009 No. 2 Audi R8 LMS. He will split time behind the wheel at Sebring with longtime family friend and supporter David Roberts.
"I have known Austin for approximately nine to 10 years and met him through his Dad, Tim Cindric (President of Team Penske), when my company sponsored CRP Racing in SCCA World Challenge," Roberts said. "We were at the same tracks on many weekends with IndyCar, and that provided me with the opportunity to follow Austin early on in an F2000 open wheel car as he was just starting on the ‘Road to Indy.’"
Tim Cindric began looking for an opportunity for Austin to get some seat time in a sports car and Roberts offered a ride in his Porsche 944 Turbo Club Sport.
The HSR Savannah event was approaching and I felt that would be a great place for Austin to get his start in sports cars," Roberts said. "Taking it easy because his Dad told him to, he finished second in his first race on Saturday. On Sunday, Tim turned him loose and he won the second race of the weekend while earning the respect of his fellow competitors."
That Savannah HSR weekend was a significant one for Austin.
"Without a doubt, Dave has always been an integral part of my career," Cindric said. "I always joke and say Dave was the first person to ‘put a roof over my head!’ The first time I was in a full-bodied race car was in Dave’s Porsche 944 Turbo down in Savannah a bunch of years ago. For him to be able to trust me in that car at a young age was pretty unique. I was really nervous about not damaging the car but also some really cool cars I was sharing the track with. HSR always brings out some really cool vintage cars and it was pretty special to be out there racing with them at such a young age."
A tribute race to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, the HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour celebrates not only the legendary race cars that have competed at Sebring over the last half century but also the rich military aviation history that first put Sebring on the map. "I ran in the 12 Hours of Sebring with the Lexus GTD program in 2017 and I am no stranger to the track," Cindric said. "I have done a lot of open-wheel races there, but it has probably been since 2017 that I have been there. I haven’t had the opportunity to go back until now.
Roberts watched nearly all of Cindric’s Xfinity Series races this year, straight through the title-clinching finale in Phoenix.
"After Austin won the championship, we exchanged a number of texts and I asked him if he would like to get back into a sports car," Roberts said. "He responded almost immediately that he would like to race at Sebring, so here we are."
In addition to the HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour, the season-ending HSR weekend also features the HSR Sebring Historics. Races on that event’s schedule include the final 2020 rounds of the HSR WeatherTech Sprint Series, the HSR B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge races, HSR Stoner Car Care Global GT, HSR Classic RS Cup and the HSR Sasco Sports International/American Challenge.
Detailed event information for the Classic Sebring 12 Hour and Sebring Historics, including weekend schedules and entry lists, is available at www.HSRRace.com. Spectator tickets for the HSR Classic Sebring 12 Hour are available on-site at Sebring International Raceway beginning Thursday. For more information visit www.HSRTickets.com.
About HSR: Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) was formed in the mid-1970s with an event at Road Atlanta. There was one goal then and it remains true today: to celebrate the race cars from the past. As a "time machine" of sights and sounds, HSR provides a venue for competitors and spectators alike to share in the wonderful history and excitement created by the cars that competed at race tracks around the world. HSR currently sanctions eight vintage and historic racing events at some of the world’s most renowned race tracks, including Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway, Daytona International Speedway and more. The complete schedule and full event information can be found on HSR’s website at www.HSRRace.com. Look for the HSR Channel on YouTube and follow HSR on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HSRrace/ and on Twitter and Instagram at @HSR_race.