The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, which kicks off the 2013 American Le Mans Series, is one of the four big endurance events on the worldwide racing calendar. This year's endurance classic also marks the final one to be run under ALMS sanctioning, as a new rules package is being formulated as a result of its merger with the Grand-Am Rolex Series late in 2012.
Coverage of the race will begin on SPEED at 10.30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 16.
“The Twelve Hours of Sebring is one of the premiere sports cars races in the world,” said Frank Wilson, SPEED vp of Event & Studio Production. “Not only are we at SPEED happy to be broadcasting the event once again, we are very excited about the unified sports car series that will debut in 2014. We hope to use Sebring 2013 to begin to introduce our fans to some of the great plans our partners have for next year.”
Bob Varsha and Brian Till lead the lap-by-lap broadcast call of the race, as former sports car pros Calvin Fish, Dorsey Schroeder, Johnny O'Connell and Justin Bell provide color commentary throughout the race. On pit road, veteran reporters Chris Neville, Jamie Howe, Kelli Stavast and Andrew Marriott are set to cover all the stories as the race unfolds.
Highlighting the entries, Audi is bringing two R-18 e-tron hybrid racers (RIGHT) and a heady group of drivers, including eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, to help close out the LMP-1 chapter in Sebring motor sports history. The No. 1 e-tron Audi is led by 2012 Le Mans-winning teammates Marcel Faessler and Benoit Treluyer, while veteran sports car racer and two-time Le Mans winner Allan McNish joins Kristensen in the No. 2.
But the battle in P1 doesn't stop there, as the three primary championship contenders for 2013, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing, Dyson Racing and Rebellion Racing, join the revolutionary and distinctive DeltaWing in vying for class and overall victory. In P2, Level 5 Racing leads the way with an all-star lineup of drivers. Ryan Briscoe and IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, join Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti in a pair of HPD ARX-03b entries. They will be facing off against the strong racers from ESM and Greaves Motorsport in what should be a competitive battle throughout the day.
The GT category is also shaping up to be a dogfight, as the world's biggest manufacturers are battling it out with their big guns. Corvette Racing, SRT Motorsports Vipers, BMW Team RLL (with the new Z4 GTE), Risi Competizione Ferrari, Aston Martin Racing, Team Falken Tire and Paul Miller Racing 911 GT3 RSRs, etc… all have a chance at class honors in what may be the hardest fought category of the weekend.
Sebring also marks the debut of actor Patrick Dempsey's new race team, as he joined forces with Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero to form Dempsey/Del Piero Racing, competing in both Le Mans and American Le Mans Series competition for 2013 in Porsche 911 GT3 race cars. Dempsey, four-time Rolex 24 at Daytona winner, Andy Lally, and long-time co-driver Joe Foster has their eyes on winning the GTC category.