the twelve hours of sebring race is under way here, about an hour and a half to go...i just took ozzie the dachshund for a walk and with the stiff easterly breeze i could hear the racers going through the gears even though the track is a good ten miles from my home. those grand prix prototype cars along with the normal contingent of ferraris, porsches, and corvettes running in their respective classes are deafening when you're at the track, but at this distance it sounds a bit like an angry gaggle of crotchrockets.
i haven't been out to the race in a few years; for one thing since i semi-retired we've been spending most of our time up at the north georgia place and haven't been in town for the mid-march madness, but also i don't see all my old buds with the sheriff's office that used to toss me hundred-dollar supertickets which made it feasible for me to drive out and check out the craziness for a few hours on raceday. most race fans know that sebring is serious business for the teams and the sponsors; several indy-500 winners are driving this year along with all the big names in lemans-style roadracing and the usual batch of celebrities-cum-racers, but for the fans, it's all about the party which lasts for a solid week with camping, drinking, cruising, and flashing being the main attractions. that's not my cup of tea (anymore), but it's still a trip to take it all in once in a while.
and even if you don't go out to the track, the event is unescapable in this little town, as all the restaurants, hotels, and the main highway are loaded with racers and fans...you'll never see more ferraris, porsches, audis, vettes, and other exotic vehicles driven by rich wannabes in such a concentrated place than at sebring during race week...quite a change from the normal winter crowd of snowbird q-tips driving forty mph in the left-hand lane in their caddys and towncars, and a pretty cool change of pace.
well, i'm going to watch the final laps on speed-tv; they're covering the race flag to flag, and for an old fart it's a hell of a lot more comfortable. the audi turbo-diesel has had a lock on the overall for several years (although porsche shocked them last year), but in the last few races, the peugeot has given them a run. and this year everyone was surprised when acura's brand new entry won the pole with one of those indy champs as the anchor driver. should be an interesting finish.
update: race just ended at 10:30 p.m., and surprise! audi wins again...those krauts can build a hotrod; ho hum.