Record Entries and Attendance Close 2010 Season
SEBRING, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2010) – Legends of Motorsports, A Bobby Rahal Signature Event, wrapped 2010 with a successful finale at Sebring International Raceway. The historic racing series’ inaugural season closed with its largest entry list to date and a strong turnout from race fans and auto enthusiasts.
With the lure of the Florida sun in December, Legends of Motorsports’ final event of 2010 proved to be an attractive proposition for many historic racing participants. The Sebring entry list featured numerous first-time series entrants ready to make the regulars work to earn their race wins, and in some cases, category championships.
The event kicked off with a “Lunch with Legends” road rally into downtown Sebring. Led by Rahal himself, a parade of race cars traveled from the track into Sebring on public roads. Once there, Mayor George Hensley presented Rahal with a key to the city. Rahal was back downtown on Friday night aboard a 2011 Jaguar XKR convertible to lead the city’s annual Christmas parade.
As the event’s featured marque, there were Jaguars aplenty at the 3.7-mile Sebring circuit. In addition to those on the entry list, Jaguar brought a fleet of its current models for guests to sample, both on the road and on a specially designed autocross course.
Saturday was a particularly busy day, with a 50-minute enduro race in the morning won by GTP entrant Mark Brannon and his Riley & Scott 3C. Shortly after the conclusion of the enduro, fans gathered at the Gallery of Legends for a fan forum with 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner and series co-founder Bobby Rahal, American Le Mans Series President and CEO Scott Atherton and the event Grand Marshal, Brian Redman, who is a two-time 12 Hours of Sebring winner.
“It was very enjoyable to see so many old friends and old cars (which are old friends also) in beautiful Sebring,” Redman said. “I think Legends of Motorsports has done a very good job. This isn’t easy. There was a good collection of cars and it was all done to a high standard.”
Saturday closed with an elegant awards banquet held at the adjoining Four Points by Sheraton Chateau Elan. In addition to recognizing several category Champions and Robert Newman Jr. as “Rookie” of the Year, Rolex watches were awarded to Driver of the Year, Nick Incantalupo, Team of the Year, Michael Snowden and Yvan Binette, Prep Shop of the Year, Lee Chapman Racing and Car of the Year to John Giordano for his 1969 Ferrari 512S. From those drivers who entered the Sebring event early, Lorne Leibel’s name was drawn to win a fifth Rolex.
The weekend closed with six feature races on Sunday, including the hotly contested Thunder & Lightning category, which was won by Floridian Larry Ligas in a 1961 Jaguar XKE after a close race with Brad Hoyt and his 1969 Chevrolet Corvette. Sunday also included an autograph session with Rahal and Redman, plus IMSA GT stars of the 1980’s Howard Cherry and Doc Bundy, and female British racing driver Davina Galica.
“Sebring was the perfect end to our inaugural season,” Rahal said. “We had our largest field of cars and spectators yet, and from what I could see and hear, everyone was having a great time. An event like this is how we want Legends of Motorsports to be remembered over the winter, so that everyone is marking their calendars with our 2011 dates.”
With live music from local rock band Slickwilly, a fully accessible paddock filled with gorgeous cars, a Legends Club stocked with Stella Artois and JetSet Magazine, fan forums and autograph sessions, the weekend was bustling. Even during the lunch hour, fans and car corral participants were able to purchase track touring sessions and drive their own vehicles on the world famous Sebring circuit.
“We couldn’t be happier with the first Legends of Motorsports Event at Sebring,” Tres Stephenson, President and General Manager of Sebring International Raceway said. “We’ve been hearing a lot of positive feedback from Sebring fans and we’re already looking forward to next year.”
Legends of Motorsports will return to Sebring International Raceway, Dec. 2-4, 2011, following events at Alabama’s Barber Motorsports Park, May 20-22 and Canada’s Circuit Mont-Tremblant, July 8-10. Full results and photos from the Legends of Motorsports 2010 finale at Sebring International Raceway are available at http://www.legendsofmotorsports.com.
QUOTE SHEET: LEGENDS OF MOTORSPORTS AT SEBRING
What People Had to Say About Legends of Motorsports’ 2010 Finale
SEBRING, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2010) – Legends of Motorsports completed its inaugural season at the iconic Sebring International Raceway. The event welcomed numerous first-time Legends of Motorsports entrants and also recognized those drivers and teams who had performed exceptionally well all season at an awards banquet. Listed below is a collection of what the participants had to say about their experience:
Lee Chapman (Prep Shop of the Year and entered a 1969 Lotus 7 SIII in Thunder & Lightning):
“To win the award made me really proud. It comes down to having a really good crew and a great bunch of clients that make me look good.
“It’s (Legends of Motorsports) our favorite race series. We feel like we’re wanted here and people go out of their way to make us feel welcome. They encourage us to make criticism and suggestions, which they usually follow up on. I’m so impressed. It’s like being with a professional racing series. It’s so professionally done, I wish there was one every week! My clients are sold on Legends. It’s a fabulous organization. Everybody is so friendly and so willing to help and that’s what we enjoy.”
Sharon Coffman (Race fan):
“This event was far more than any other fall or winter race I’ve seen at Sebring Raceway, and all drivers took the time to sign autographs and answer questions, including Bobby Rahal. This race should be promoted heavily because it is the premier winter race, and has a stocked entry of premier cars from past and present. Thanks for making my trip to Legends of Motorsports at Sebring a time to remember, and one that I will never forget.”
Chip Halverson (Entered a 1976 Chevron B36 in 2-Liter Sports Cars):
“It’s a great weekend. We’ve been having a good time. There’s some nice amenities and the quality of cars is really nice. I was just up in the hospitality area, which no one else has. I just visited my wife and friends up there and they’re having a blast.
“I’m going to look at the calendar and hopefully do more than one of these next year.”
Nick Incantalupo (Driver of the Year and entered a 1973 Chevron B23 in 2-Liter Sports Cars):
“I did not expect to win. I was really surprised and totally flabbergasted. When the gentleman from Rolex said ‘this is a hard name to pronounce,’ I knew it was me! I was totally taken by surprise. It means a lot because it’s from my peers and contemporaries. That part of it sunk in later. I thought about it and thought ‘that’s quite an award!’
“The weekend’s been a success and my theory is that every day I can go racing, is a good day. I’ve been racing since Thursday and I’ve had a wonderful weekend. Every weekend, you know, going back to Barber [Motorsports Park] with Legends has been great. I’ve done all the events. Barber, to me, was one of the most spectacular events I’ve been to and every one after that. You guys (Legends of Motorsports) are running a good show and it’s going to do well, I know it. It’s all word of mouth
“Legends of Motorsports has raised the bar. I’ve already set my schedule to be at every Legends of Motorsports event next year.”
Les Loushin (Entered a 1978 Lola T332 in GTP):
“This is a great experience. It’s the first time for me being at Sebring. It’s very enjoyable being at such a famous race track. I started my racing in the north at Watkins Glen, so to be at another famous track is very enjoyable.
This is one of the best events I’ve ever been. I anticipate doing the whole series and maybe be in the running for Rookie of the Year next year!”
John Giordano (Car of the Year for his 1969 Ferrari 512 S):
“It’s such a great honor to receive the Car of the Year Award. I’m very happy that they gave it to me and I really appreciate it.
“A number of years ago we went to Laguna Seca and I really wanted to get a P34. I couldn’t get into the P34, I couldn’t get into the 906 Porsche or the 910 Porsche and a ‘fella had a 512 there and I could get into the 512. It’s a car that fits me and that’s how I got into it. I searched for it until I found someone that had one for sale and we negotiated.
“It’s (Legend of Motorsports) a fantastic group and I hope it grows and grows and grows, because we need something like this. We’ll be back next year.”
Robert Newman Jr. (“Rookie” of the Year and entered a 1970 Porsche 911 S in Thunder & Lightning and a 1974 Porsche 911 RSR in IMSA GT):
“It was quite a thrill. It was a great banquet and I was very happy to receive the Rookie of the Year Award. It was a great season and I’ll see everyone next year.
“The organization of every event that I went to was absolutely perfect. I’m sure from the inside there are things you’d like to do better, but as a contestant and a competitor and a guest, I think it was absolutely fabulous the whole year.”
Brian Redman (Grand Marshal and member of Sebring Hall of Fame):
“It was very enjoyable to see so many old friends and old cars (which are old friend also) in beautiful Sebring.
“I think Legends of Motorsports has done a very good job. This isn’t easy. There was a good collection of cars and it was all done to a high standard.”
Brady Refenning (Co-Owner of 901 Shop):
“We had a great time. All of our customers really enjoyed it. It’s great racing and wonderful weather. We enjoyed the hospitality club and it’s been a really great weekend. All the staff is really friendly. The hospitality kind of brings it to a new level and allows our clients to enjoy themselves. There were a lot of upscale cars and all of it was very nice.
“We plan on running Tremblant and Sebring for sure next year.”
Michael Snowden (Team of the Year and entered a 1971 GRD 272 F2 in Formula Libre):
“This year we’ve had a lot of adversity, but we’ve managed to prevail. The experience has been great with the four events this year. We’ve had a great time with a wonderful group of people and couldn’t ask for any better racing and camaraderie. We’re looking forward to next year. We’re hoping we can get through the winter and get to the spring.
“I’d like to thank my wife for allowing me to do this. It’s a very important part of my life and I’ve always wanted to race a car. To wait 30 years to do it has been to long, but it’s great. This Rolex watch makes it worthwhile and I’m really grateful to all the people that made this possible, it’s just great.”
Brian Stark (Entered a 1976 Chevron B36 in 2-Liter Sports Cars):
“I live in Milwaukee, so December in Sebring is better than December, January and February in Milwaukee. It’s been a nice weekend and a nice group. There’s been a lot of nice cars out. It’s nice to see all the 2-liter cars in my group. There’s more here than I’ve seen at the other races that I do.”
About Legends of Motorsports
Legends of Motorsports is a premium race series owned by Historic Motorsports Productions LLC (‘HMP’). Specifically, Legends of Motorsports is an annual series of premium historic racing events and related lifestyle experiences staged at historic North American venues. The series recently announced its 2011 schedule, which will travel to Barber Motorsports Park (May 20 – 22), Circuit Mont-Tremblant (July 8 – 10) and Sebring International Raceway (Dec. 2 – 4). Based in Zionsville, Indiana, HMP’s principal owners are racers and businessmen Bobby Rahal, Peter Stoneberg and Zak Brown. Additional equity investors in HMP include Spire Capital Partners and Just Marketing International, which provides comprehensive strategy, marketing, public relations, and event logistics services to the venture. For more information, please visit HMP on the web at www.legendsofmotorsports.com or by calling (317) 344-1998.
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About Sebring International Raceway
Originally a World War II B-17 training base known as Hendricks Field, Sebring hosted its first sports car race in 1950. Sebring’s 3.7-mile (5.95km) asphalt and concrete road course is the home of the legendary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. Former winners at Sebring include Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Stirling Moss, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Juan Manuel Fangio, Bobby Rahal and Al Holbert. Sebring International Raceway is owned and operated by the Panoz Motor Sports Group. For more information visit www.sebringraceway.com.
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