The day that Sebring ran out of gas.
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The day that Sebring ran out of gas.

Since its inception 1952, the 12 Hours of Sebring has emerged as the key endurance racing event in the USA ... despite a temporary interruption in 1974.

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup  - 12 Hours of Sebring
 

Since its inception 1952, the 12 Hours of Sebring has emerged as the key endurance racing event in the USA ... despite a temporary interruption in 1974.

In 1973, the race is won by the Porsche Carrera RSR of Hurley Haywood, Peter Gregg and Dave Helmick. A few months later, the Yom Kippur war plunged the world into crisis. Surging oil prices caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict raised serious concerns about the future of motorsport, and the French government was even considering an outright ban of all motor racing. In the end, nothing happened, but the United States, the crisis caused the cancellation of the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1974. The race resumed the following year with victory in the BMW by Brian Redman, Allan Moffat, Sam Posey and Hans Joachim Stuck. Then, in 1976 drivers Al Holbert and Michael Keyser in a Porsche Carrera RSR began the unbroken series of 13 victories for Stuttgart with the RSR, 935 prototype and the 962 that lasted until 1988.

Today the world has realized that oil resources will run out sooner or later, and the automobile industry is now serious about alternative energies and environmental conservation. Endurance racing is at the forefront of this new struggle: the diesel Audi, particulate filters for Peugeot 908, the hybrid technology of the Porsche 911 GT3 R ILMC seen at the Petit Le Mans and in Zhuhai, or the Biofuels, particularly used by former British government minister Paul Drayson. The rebirth and the future of endurance racing is accompanied by new technological challenges, and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup is a fascinating showcase for those developments.

The 12 Hours of Sebring will be held March 19.