Sebring International Raceway
Sebring International Raceway is a road course auto racing facility in the southeastern United States, located near Sebring, Florida. Sebring Raceway is one of the oldest continuously operating race tracks in the U. S. its first race being run in 1950. Sebring is one of the classic race tracks in North American sports car racing, plays host to the 12 Hours of Sebring; the raceway occupies a portion of Sebring Regional Airport, an active airport for private and commercial traffic, built as Hendricks Army Airfield, a World War II training base for the U. S. Army Air Forces. Sebring Raceway occupies the site of Hendricks Army Airfield, a training base for B-17 pilots in operation from 1941 to 1946. After the war, Russian-American aeronautical engineer Alec Ulmann was seeking sites for converting military aircraft to civilian use when he discovered potential in Hendricks' runways and service roads to stage a sports car endurance race similar to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a race Ulmann was inspired to somewhat re-create in the United States.
Sebring's first race was held on New Year's Eve of 1950, attracting thirty race cars from across North America. The Sam Collier 6 Hour Memorial race was won by Frits Koster and Ralph Deshon in a Crosley Hot Shot, driven to the track by Victor Sharpe; the first 12 Hours of Sebring was held on March 15, 1952, shortly growing into a major international race. In 1959, the track hosted the U. S.' First Formula One race, held as that year's installment of the historic United States Grand Prix competition. However poor attendance and high costs relocated the next U. S. Grand Prix to Riverside International Raceway in southern California. For much of Sebring's history, the track followed a 5.2-mile layout. After a disastrous 1966 12 Hours with five fatalities, the track was widened and lengthened 50 yards for 1967 with the removal of the Webster Turn between the hairpin and the top of the track and replacement with the faster Green Park Chicane; this was closer to the hairpin and allowed a flat-out run through a fast corner to the top of the track and the runway.
Another dangerous section was the Warehouse straight, where the organizers installed a left-right turn to move the track away from the warehouses and buildings after a crash where during that 1966 12 Hours a privately-entered Porsche went into one of the warehouses and into a crowd, killing four spectators. The circuit was changed and shortened in 1983 to allow simultaneous use of the track and one of the runways, major changes in 1987 allowed use of another runway. Further changes in 1991 accommodated expansion of the airport's facilities, allowing the entire track to be used without interfering with normal airport operations and bringing it close to its current configuration; the hairpin was removed in 1997 due to a lack of run-off, replaced with what became known as the "safety pin". Gendebien Bend was re-profiled to slow the cars' entry to the Ullman straight; the track is owned by IMSA Holdings, LLC through its subsidiary Sebring International Raceway, LLC via its purchase of the Panoz MSG in September 2012.
It is leased by the Sebring International Raceway, LLC, which acquired the facility from Andy Evans in 1997. The track is recognized for its famous, high-speed "Turn 17", a long, fast right hander that can make or break a car's speed down the front straight; the corner can fit up to 3 cars wide. Skip Barber Racing School held numerous programs at the facility, including a scholarship opportunity for young racers; the World Endurance Championship runs a round called the 1000 Miles of Sebring, run concurrently with the famed 12 Hours. This race was first run with Toyota Gazoo Racing winning overall. Sebring International Raceway consist of three tracks: the Full Circuit, the Short Circuit, the Club Circuit; the course of the track itself is 3.74 miles long. It is a seventeen-turn road course with long straights, several high-speed corners, technical slower corners. Many of the turns and points along the track are named for the early drivers. Due to Florida's flat nature there is little elevation change around the track and little camber on the surface, providing a challenging track for drivers when it rains.
Sebring is renowned for its rough and changing surfaces. The course still runs on old sections of World War II-era landing fields that were constructed of concrete sections with large seams; the transitions between sections are quite rough and sparks fly from the undercarriages of the cars as they traverse them. Much of the track has intentionally been left with its original concrete runway surface; the 12 Hours of Sebring is renowned as a race, harder on machinery and drivers than Le Mans, is seen as an ideal preparation run for the famed French race. The track surface has 0.7 miles of concrete. Mario Andretti, a 3-time 12 Hours winner, said that one of the hardest parts about the original Sebring track was "finding the track to begin with." There had been many accounts of drivers retiring due to accidents at night, quite because they got lost on the runway sections and couldn't find the track again. Some drivers got lost during the day because the track was poorly marked down with white lines and cones.
Sebring is most notable for hosting the 12 Hours of Sebring, sanctioned by the FIA and IMSA, as part of many major endurance racing series, including the World Sportscar Championship, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, ALMS, now, the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This race is the second of four races in t
Mario Gabriele Andretti is an Italian-born American former racing driver, one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport. He is one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR, he won races in midget cars, sprint cars. During his career, Andretti won the 1978 Formula One World Championship, four IndyCar titles, IROC VI. To date, he remains the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship, along with Juan Pablo Montoya, the only driver to have won a race in the NASCAR Cup Series, Formula One, an Indianapolis 500. No American has won a Formula One race since Andretti's victory at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix. Andretti had 109 career wins on major circuits. Andretti had a long career in racing, he was the only person to be named United States Driver of the Year in three decades. He was one of only three drivers to have won major races on road courses, paved ovals, dirt tracks in one season, a feat that he accomplished four times.
With his final IndyCar win in April 1993, Andretti became the first driver to have won IndyCar races in four different decades and the first to win automobile races of any kind in five. In American popular culture, his name has become synonymous with speed, as with Barney Oldfield in the early twentieth century and Stirling Moss in the United Kingdom. Mario Andretti and his twin brother Aldo were born to Alvise Andretti, a farm administrator, his wife, Rina, in Montona, Istria. Istria was part of the Kingdom of Italy, but it was annexed by Yugoslavia at the end of World War II, as confirmed by the Treaty of Paris; the Andretti family left in 1948, during the Istrian exodus, ending up in a refugee camp in Lucca, Italy. Andretti told author Paul Stenning: "My father left everything behind, we left our home and took what we could carry and went further into Italy, they had to swallow all of these families that were dispersed and they formed all different camps over Italy and we were shipped to a place in Tuscany.
Life was a bit weird at the time but the one thing that my father always did, he always provided for us. As kids we were never cold, we were never hungry, we went to school, he always provided quite well."Andretti's father had maintained contact with his brother-in-law who had lived in the United States for many years. It took the family three years to obtain a visa for America. Alvise Andretti told the family they would move to America for five years and return to Italy. Mario has explained: "When I looked at my life in many ways out of so many negatives here comes a positive and this was one of them, here was an opportunity created for us, the kids, my dad always cited that, he would say in a sense I am looking at your future, where I think would be the best solution for you kids to have opportunities and he was correct, he was right because if we had remained in Italy I don’t know whether I could pursued what my first passion was and the only passion I had career wise." The twins' mother Rina said that when they were two years old, they would take pot lids out of the cupboards and run around the kitchen, going "Vroom, vroom," like they were driving cars – this before they had seen a car.
In 1945, at the age of five, he and Aldo were racing their hand-crafted wooden cars through the steep streets of their hometown. The brothers were hired by a garage to park cars, Andretti described the experience in his book What's It Like Out There: "The first time I fired up a car, felt the engine shudder and the wheel come to life in my hands, I was hooked, it was a feeling. I still get it every time I get into a race car." Andretti's first racing experience was in a new youth racing league called Formula Junior in Ancona, Italy when he was thirteen years old. In an interview during an RRDC Evening with Mario Andretti, Andretti recounted the story of his early days of Dirt Track racing in Pennsylvania with his brother and implied that he and his brother made up the story of racing in the Formula Junior league to improve their chances because they looked the part after having purchased racing suits in Italy. Andretti had two fond childhood memories of watching a stretch of the Mille Miglia race in 1954 which caused him to become captivated by Italian two-time Formula One world champion Alberto Ascari, who won the race, which got him to go to Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, where he saw Ascari and Juan Manuel Fangio race against each other.
In 1955 the Andretti family emigrated to the United States of America, settling in Nazareth in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley with just $125 to their name. In 1959, after finishing high school, he planned to became a welder, but he falsified a driving license so he could pass for 21 and enter an amateur race. Mario and Aldo were surprised to find a half-mile dirt racing track; the twins worked on a 1948 Hudson Hornet Sportsman funded by money that they earned in their uncle's garage in 1959. They took turns racing the old Hudson on oval dirt tracks near Nazareth in 1959, they did not tell their parents. The twins each had two wins after their first four races. Aldo was hurt near the end of the season, their parents were unhappy to find out that the twins were racing. Mario had 21 modified stockcar wins in 46 races in 1960 and 1961. Andretti became a naturalized United States citizen in 1964, he competed in United States Automobile Club stock car events in 1965, finished twelfth in the season points.
He won a USAC Stock Car race in 1967, finished seventh in the season points. He won t
The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island's capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race's last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, lapped 11 times. After 1973, it was a national sports car event until it was discontinued in 1977 due to safety concerns, it has since been run as a rallying event, is part of the Italian Rally Championship. The race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in Brescia, Lombardy in 1900; the Targa claimed to be a worldly event not to be missed. Renowned artists, such as Alexandre Charpentier and Leonardo Bistolfi, were commissioned to design medals. A magazine was initiated, which aimed to enhance, with graphic and photographic reproductions of the race, the myth of the car and the typical character of modern life, speed.
One of the toughest competitions in Europe, the first Targa Florio covered 3 laps equalling 277 miles through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads, at heights where severe changes in climate occurred. Alessandro Cagno won the inaugural 1906 race in nine hours. By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe's most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today's F1; the wins of Mercedes in the 1920s made a big impression in Germany that of German Christian Werner in 1924, as he was the first non-Italian winner since 1920. Rudolf Caracciola repeated. In 1926, Eliska Junkova, one of the great female drivers in Grand Prix motor racing history, became the first woman to compete in the race. In 1953, the FIA World Sportscar Championship was introduced; the Targa became part of it in 1955, when Mercedes had to win 1-2 with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR in order to beat Ferrari for the title.
They had missed the first two of the 6 events, Buenos Aires and the 12 Hours of Sebring, where Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche scored. Mercedes appeared at and won in the Mille Miglia pulled out of Le Mans as a sign of respect for the victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster, but won the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod. Stirling Moss/Peter Collins and Juan Manuel Fangio/Karl Kling finished minutes ahead of the best Ferrari and secured the title. Several versions of the track were used, it started with a single lap of a 148 km circuit from 1906-1911 and 1931. From 1912 to 1914 a tour around the perimeter of Sicily was used, with a single lap of 975 kilometres, lengthened to 1,080 kilometres from 1948 to 1950; the 148 km "Grande" circuit was shortened twice, the first time to 108 km, the version used from 1919-1930, to the 72 km circuit used from 1932 to 1936 and 1951 to 1977. From 1951-1958, the long coastal island tour variant was used for a separate event called the Giro di Sicilia; the start and finish took place at Cerda.
The counter-clockwise lap lead from Caltavuturo and Collesano from an altitude over 600 metres down to sea level, where the cars raced from Campofelice di Roccella on the Buonfornello straight along the coast, a straight over 6 km longer than the Mulsanne Straight at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. The longest version of the circuit went south through Caltavuturo through an extended route through elevation changes, swept through the nearby towns of Castellana and Sottana, twisting around mountains up to the town of Castelbuono and rejoined the most recent version of the track at Collesano; the second version of the track went south through Caltavuturo and took a shortcut starting right before Castellana to Collesano via the town of Polizzi Generosa. There was a closed circuit called Favorita Park used from 1937-1940; the challenge of the Targa was unprecedented in its difficulty and the driving experience of any of the course variants was unlike any other circuit in the world other than that of the Nurburgring in Germany.
The original Grande 148 km circuit had in the realm of 2,000 corners per lap, the 108 km Medio had about 1,300-1,400 corners per lap and the final iteration of the course, the 72 km Piccolo circuit had about 800-900 corners per lap. To put that in perspective, most purpose built circuits have between 12 and 18 corners, the longest purpose built circuit in the world, the 13-mile Nurburgring, has about 180 corners. So learning any of the Targa Florio courses was difficult and required, like most long circuits, at least 60 laps to learn the course- and unlike the purpose-built Nurburgring, the course had to be learned properly in public traffic, one lap would take about an hour to do in a road car- if there was little to no traffic. Like a rally event, the race cars were started one by one every 15 seconds for a time trial, as a start from a full grid was not possible on the tight and twisty roads. Although the public road circuit used for the Targa was challenging- it was a different kind of circuit and race from any other race on the sportscar calendar.
All of the circuit variations of the Targa had so many corners that lap speeds at the Targa n
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
World Sportscar Championship
The World Sportscar Championship was the world series run for sports car racing by the FIA from 1953 to 1992. The championship evolved from a small collection of the most important sportscar and road racing events in Europe and North America with dozens of gentleman drivers at the grid, to a professional racing series where the world's largest automakers spent millions of dollars per year; the official name of the series changed throughout the years, however it has been known as the World Sportscar Championship from its inception in 1953. The World Sportscar Championship was, with the Formula One World Championship, one of the two major world championships in circuit motor racing. In 2012 the World Sportscar Championship was revived and renamed as the World Endurance Championship. Among others, the following races counted towards the championships in certain years: 24 Hours of Le Mans 1953– Mille Miglia 1953–1957 1000 km Nürburgring 1953– RAC Tourist Trophy 1953–1964 12 Hours of Sebring 1953– Carrera Panamericana 1953–1954 Targa Florio 1955–1973 1000 km Monza 1963– 1000 km Spa 1963– 12 Hours of Reims 1964–1965 24 Hours of Daytona 1966–1981 1000 km Buenos Aires 1954–1972 1000 km Zeltweg 1966–1976 1000 km Fuji 1983–1988 Norisring 200 Miles 1984–1988 Watkins Glen 6 Hours 1968-1971,1973-1980 In the early years, now legendary races such as the Mille Miglia, Carrera Panamericana and Targa Florio were part of the calendar, alongside the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Tourist Trophy and Nurburgring 1000 km.
Manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin fielded entries featuring professional racing drivers with experience in Formula One, but the majority of the fields were made up of gentleman drivers in the likes of Nardis and Bandinis. Cars were split into Sports Car and GT categories and were further divided into engine displacement classes; the Ferrari and Maserati works teams were fierce competitors throughout much of the decade, but although Maserati cars won many races the make never managed to clinch the World title. The Mercedes-Benz work team pulled out of the championship after 1955 due to their crash at Le Mans, while the small Aston Martin factory team struggled to find success in 1957 and 1958 until it managed to win the championship in 1959. Notably absent from the overall results were the Jaguar works team, who did not enter any events other than Le Mans, despite the potential of the C- and D-Types. In 1962, the calendar was expanded to include smaller races, while the FIA shifted the focus to production based GT cars.
The World Sportscar Championship title was discontinued, being replaced by the International Championship for GT Manufacturers. They group cars into three categories with specific engine sizes. Hillclimbs, sprint races and smaller races expanded the championship, which now had about 15 races per season; the famous races like Le Mans still counted towards the prototype championship, the points valuation wasn't tabular so the FIA returned to the original form of the championship with about 6 to 10 races. For 1963 the three engine capacity classes remained. For 1965 the engine classes became for cars under 1300 cc, under 2000 cc, over 2000 cc. Class III was designed to attract more American manufacturers, with no upper limit on engine displacement; the period between 1966 and 1971 was the most successful era of the World Championship, with S and P classes, cars such as the Ferrari 512S, Ferrari 330 P4, Ford GT40, Lola T70, Alfa Romeo 33, Porsche's 908 and the 917 battled for supremacy on classic circuits such as Sebring, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Targa Florio, Le Mans, in what is now considered the Golden Age of sports car racing.
In 1972 the Group 6 Prototype and Group 5 Sports Car classes were both replaced by a new Group 5 Sports Car class. These cars were limited to 3.0 L engines by the FIA, manufacturers lost interest. The new Group 5 Sports Cars, together with Group 4 Grand Touring Cars, would contest the FIA's newly renamed World Championship for Makes from 1972 to 1975. From 1976 to 1981 the World Championship for Makes was open to Group 5 Special Production Cars and other production based categories including Group 4 Grand Touring cars and it was during this period that the nearly-invincible Porsche 935 dominated the championship. Prototypes returned in 1976 as Group 6 cars with their own series, the World Championship for Sports Cars, but this was to last only for two seasons. In 1981, the FIA instituted a drivers championship. In 1982, the FIA attempted to counter a worrying climb in engine output of the Group 5 Special Production Cars by introducing Group C, a new category for closed sports-prototypes that limited fuel consumption.
While this change was unwelcome amongst some of the private teams, manufacturer support for the new regulations was immense. Several of the'old guard' manufacturers returned to the WSC within the next two years, with each marque adding to the diversity of the series. Under the new rules, it was theoretically possible for aspirated engines to compete with the forced induction engines that had dominated the series in the'70s and early'80s. In addition, most races ran for either 500 or 1000 km going over three and six hours so it was possible to emphasize the "endurance" aspect of the competition as well. Group B cars, a GT class, were allowed to race, but entries in thi