#respectthebumps is seen on all the trolleys transporting drivers to the paddocks as the sun rises early each cold and foggy morning at the ex-airbase turned racetrack.
The weather is cool, track temps are low, and the ambience is setting in; it’s race day.
My very first 12 hour Rolex endurance race and second time in Sebring translated to an unforgettable experience.
Thanks to The Collection Miami, I was able to score two passes to Porsche’s VIP center at the track giving me the best view of the flag drop possible. I was surrounded by great guests like Jeff Zwart, Patrick Dempsey and J.F. Musial; huge names in the automotive industry and great company to have too.
In the VIP package, I was fortunate enough to have access to a suite right in front of the flag drop full of amenities, great food, and most importantly…free wifi!!!
In addition to the suite, Porsche also had a section across from turn 1 called Porsche Platz. From here, I was able to capture some of the most incredible shots of the race weekend.
As I witnessed the BMW M8, Porsche RSR, Ford GT and Acura teams screaming by, I truly saw those engineering masterpieces itching at the ground for grip using every last millimeter of their tire treads buying every mile an hour more out the apex using every inch on the track.
This article, however, isn’t so much about the race. It’s about the experience.
While at the track I saw thousands of fans from all ages and every background together enjoying what to some people may seem like a nightmare.
To some people, the idea of taking a camping trip is something they might think twice about doing. To most people, the idea of doing so at a racetrack for a whole week with race cars blaring by from 8 in the morning at practice till nightfall is sheer misery.
However, to these race fans, it is the week they look forward to the most of the year. The excitement of going infield, hunting for the perfect spot, then claiming your ground is something so rewarding to a race fan, it’s almost indescribable. Long hours driving and sweating buckets becomes worth it. Especially when you get to see the race cars and racing teams you grew up watching on TV flying by doing 150 miles an hour 30 feet away from you uninterrupted by commercials, all whilst enjoying your favorite beer and barbecued food.
The environment is full of glee. It becomes a massive party, one where everyone has one thing in common (and no its not this chick’s birthday from as you awkwardly stir your drink in the corner with the other people invited): the addiction to racing. From manufacturers setting up booths with display cars and driving simulators, to huge campers with games and comical décor, you see everything at Sebring and that's why from now on, I'm going every year, rain or shine.