Sebring – this single word alone has the potential to evoke feelings of automotive euphoria. Millions of car enthusiasts across the world, myself included, can’t help but associate Sebring with thoughts of lightning quick race cars buzzing around the torturous race track better known as Sebring International Raceway.
I just happen to be one of the die-hard racing enthusiasts that is lucky enough to photograph these race cars up close and personal. At times, almost too personal, as I barely escaped making friends with the tires and under body of the Corvette C6R in the pits this weekend.
I consider myself highly fortunate to share with others, through my eyes and photography, these magnificently sexy pieces of machinery, technology, brute power, and love as they seem to effortlessly hover around Sebring’s jagged 3.7 mile long, 17 turn track.
Going back two months in time, I sent in my media credential application to ALMS, more specifically Sebring, requesting a media credential for myself to photograph the 12 Hours Race. Having photographed it last year, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to hopefully photograph it again in 2009.
I rented an RV with some of my best friends and arrived at Sebring early Friday afternoon. The race wasn’t until Saturday morning but I didn’t want to miss a thing!
I went to will call immediately upon my arrival at the track and sheepishly asked if there was a media credential behind the counter for “Chris Grosser” – the kind lady working there replied with, “Here you go, Chris Grosser from TeamSpeed … enjoy the race.”
This was the single greatest sentence I had heard in months. Sebring doesn’t inform you prior to the race if your application was accepted or denied. Apparently, I did something right because within a minute I was signing my life and insurance information for potential injuries away! Say no more, I was on my way, two camera bodies in hand, 30 pounds of camera gear and lenses in my backpack, and ready to go hiking around Sebring track side.
Early the next morning, I went to the mandatory media and photographer meeting at 6:45am, which was a bit rough to say the least. I proceeded to check in, picked up my photo vest and ended up photographing for about 8 hours in total throughout the day. It’s not too hard to do when my first picture taken that day was at 6:00am in the pits.
There is definitely a reason why they make you sign your life away prior to the track giving you your photography credentials. I think it may have something to do with being encouraged and given access to photograph within 5 feet of race cars passing you in excess of 150+mph. It almost…. just almost, makes me question my sanity but I love it and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Sebring 2009 Pictures
Sebring 2009 Videos
Audi R15 Wins at Sebring 2009 via Garage 419
Sebring 2009 Race Recap
Sebring 2009 – The Start of the Race
Glowing Hot Rotors on Peugeot 908 HDI at Sebring 2009
About 12 Hours of Sebring
Sebring International Raceway is America’s premier sports car racing facility. Nestled among the orange groves and cattle ranches of central Florida, it is the oldest permanent road racing track in North America, evolving from a World War II air base.
Sebring is world famous for the annual 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, part of the prestigious American Le Mans Series. Every year on the third Saturday of March, the raceway hosts thousands of race fans from around the world to witness the historic 12 hour classic. All the legends have raced at Sebring… Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and dozens of other international motor racing legends, driving race cars built by the world’s great manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Ford, Maserati, Aston Martin and Nissan.
Today, Sebring International Raceway is owned by the Panoz Motorsports Group, whose founder Dr. Don Panoz revived the famous Sebring circuit in 1999 by initiating a multi-million dollar enhancement program. The track is active 365 days a year with automotive testing, club events, racing schools, corporate events and other activities.
Conveniently located adjacent to the Sebring Regional Airport, it is less than 100 miles from Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Sarasota. The raceway has its own hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Chateau Elan, and is the home to two major racing schools.
About The Author
Chris Grosser is a professional photographer residing in Lutz, FL & who is often in Naples, FL, the town he grew up in. Chris is a long time friend of Zach, the founder of Exotics and Luxury, and has worked with Exotics and Luxury in the past covering events with his photography and writing skills. Take a moment to visit Chris’s website at www.ChrisGrossserPhotography.com. Chris is available for freelance work and has prints for sale with more information on his website.
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Exotics and Luxury Community Comments:
How do you feel about Audi’s victory at 12 Hours of Sebring 2009? Do you think Audi will come out on top in 2010 too? Were you at the event? Leave us a comment below.
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