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Sebring 12 Hours, 17 March 2018: #912 Porsche 911 RSR to be driven by Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, Gianmaria Bruni

#49 Porsche 907 KH
Sebring 12 Hours, 23 March 1968: #49 Porsche 907 KH driven by Jo Siffert (left) and Hans Herrmann, with Fritz Spingler (with hat behind car). Siffert and Herrmann were the winners in the #49 Porsche

The 12 Hours of Sebring, the toughest and oldest sports car race in the USA, will be held for the 66th time on 17 March. Sebring is one of the oldest continuously operating race tracks in the United States, the first race to be run there was in 1950 with the first 12 Hours of Sebring race being held on 15 March 1952. The atmosphere at Sebring is legendary but in 1974, the race was cancelled due to the energy crisis, however several hundred fans showed up anyway to party.

#42 Porsche 718 RS 60 Spyder
Sebring 12 Hours, 26 March 1960: Race mechanic, Eberhard Storz, attends to the Gendebien/Herrmann race-winning #42 Porsche 718 RS 60 Spyder

First though, a little tour through the history books is called for, to illustrate just what an important race this is for Porsche. It is not only the 18 overall victories and 70 class wins that make Porsche the most successful manufacturer in this classic endurance race, but also unequalled are the 4198 laps that Porsche has been in the lead in this race, a tally which is unmatched by any other manufacturer. At least one Porsche has lined up on the grid every year since 1953 (apart from 1974 – see above), and the Stuttgart manufacturer can also boast the highest number of consecutive wins by a manufacturer – thirteen in total (1976-88). Fifty-eight years after the first overall victory with the Porsche 718 RS in 1960, Porsche will line up again this weekend represented by four 911s, two in the GTLM class and two in the GTD class. This race will also serve as round two of the IMSA SportsCar Championship and the North American Endurance Cup.

#49 Porsche 907 KH
Sebring 12 Hours, 23 March 1968: #49 Porsche 907 KH driven by Jo Siffert and Hans Herrmann, ran out the overall winners

Porsche’s 2018 race cars

Porsche is now into its second year of competition with the 911 RSR and its mid-mounted engine, and depending on the size of the restrictor, the engine develops around 510bhp. A full explanation of this race car’s design and development can be found here. The large rear diffuser, combined with a top-mounted rear wing, provides strong downforce making the 2018 RSR one of the most aerodynamically efficiency 911s to date. For 2018, Porsche is offering its customer teams an evo-kit for the 911 GT3 R. Developing more than 500bhp, this race car was designed for worldwide GT3 series based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car.

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