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The starting grid for the 1976 12 Hours of Sebring was led by the Corvette of John Greenwood/Mike Brockman and the BMW of David Hobbs and Benny Parsons. The Greenwood Corvette led the opening 15 laps until they were overtaken by the Hobbs/Parsons BMW. However, both cars would soon suffer misfortunes that would hand the lead over to the Porsches. Photo: Hal Crocker

The 12-Hours of Sebring remains the oldest established sports car endurance race to be held in the United States, although with a partly glorious, somewhat patchy history.

Always a popular spring break destination, Sebring enjoyed an oftentimes ÒwildÓ party atmosphere in the Ô70s-sometimes on a par with Watkins GlenÕs infamous ÒBogÓ.

The golden era of the ’50s and ’60s culminated in the unforgettable 1970 Sebring 12-Hour race where the Ferrari 512S of Mario And­retti, Ignazio Giunti and Nino Vac­arella just pipped Peter Revson and Steve McQueen in their Porsche 908. The following year saw the Vic Elford-Gerard Larrousse 917 in the winners circle, then in 1972 the formula changed from five to three liters and Mario was back, this time with Jacky Ickx in a Ferrari 312P.

Al Holbert Photo: Hal Crocker

In 1973, the race was no longer a part of the Manufacturers Champion­ship Ser­ies, but instead

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