Yesterday I woke up in my truck, in a field which was sparsely populated with cars. I was crusty eyed, smelly, I needed a good shave, and I was bundled up in my sleeping bag because it was freezing cold earlier in the morning – all that was a result of celebrating a great night of racing. The celebration took place at Patrón’s “Party Tent” which was parked at the Sebring International Raceway for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Further more, they have been a sponsor and participant of this endurance race for the opening round of the America La Mans Series.
Let me tell you, I am glad I decided to go to this race, or shall I say a great event that even the little ones can enjoy (except for at night when the official after party starts). Yes, I know that Sebring isn’t exactly in the Tampa Bay area, but it is only two and a half hours drive from Tampa. Wait a minute, that is still fairly long trip but it’s worth it if you take the back roads. By taking the back roads, you will be expose to some of the most picturesque scenery Florida has to offer.
This race also doubles as a mini carnival minus the rides, unless you count the Chevorlet test drive track. In addition, The Raceway is populated with many concession stands. The many concession stands offers you delecious concession stand food that you would normally get at a State Fair.
The 12 Hours of Sebring race is perfect for people who enjoy fun-in-the-sun type activities, fast cars, little shops to buy race related souvinairs, and camping. One of the biggest aspects of this event is that most people drive their RVs, trucks, cars and vans into this Raceway(not onto the actual track because that would dangerous) and camp out there over night. I would say it is almost like a 12 hour tail gating party. Lastly, if you’re an adult, then you would enjoy the official after party sponsored by Patrón Spirits. I can’t say the drinks are cheap, however, you will have a good time at the Patrón “Party Tent” while listening to club-style music.
A few tips if you decide to go to this event next year:
- This event will sell out quickly, so buy your tickets early.
- Make sure you get a reservation in Sebring or in Avon Park, FL which is near-by if you don’t want to camp outside or drive back. The hotels will fill up quickly so plan in advance before March 14-17th and the races officially start at 10:30 AM
- If you decide to camp , then bring all of the necessary camping gear; but all vehicles will have to pay a $40 charge for first-come first-server parking and driving in a RV for track-side parking will cost you about $30-50 more
- This year they kept giving us blue passes each time we left the Raceway (this includes going to the general parking area or the different gates) which were important since they were required to enter Raceway again
- Bring lots of cash, because most of the vendors there will only except cash, especially the Patrón “Party Tent”
- Make sure to bring sun block, because this takes place in Florida!
- Bring a sweater, just in case it cools down at night. Oddly enough, it was freezing cold for me last night!
- You can bring in coolers if you want, in fact I saw a guy riding a motorized one yesterday inside of the Raceway
- Lastly, behave yourself, don’t get drunk and yell out movie quotes like, “I”M THE KING OF THE WORLD!” The authorities there have zero tolerance for misconduct. Furthermore, if you decide to drink then make sure you bring some form of ID that shows you’re over 21, since IDs will checked.