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
Le Mans Prototype
A Le Mans Prototype is the type of sports prototype race car used in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, FIA World Endurance Championship, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, European Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Series. Le Mans Prototypes were created by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest; the technical requirements for an LMP include bodywork covering all mechanical elements of the car. While not as fast as open-wheel Formula One cars, LMPs are the fastest closed-wheel racing cars used in circuit racing. Le Mans Prototypes are considered a class above production-based grand tourer cars, which compete alongside them in sports car racing. Modern LMP designs include hybrid cars. Le Mans Prototypes have used various names depending on the series; the FIA's equivalent cars were referred to as Sports Racing Prototypes. The American IMSA GT Championship termed their cars World Sports Cars', while the short-lived United States Road Racing Championship used the classic Can-Am name for their prototypes. Since 2004, most series have switched to referring to these cars as Le Mans Prototypes.
The American Le Mans Series, the successor to the IMSA GT Championship and the predecessor of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship referred to the cars as Prototypes. An LMP is referred to as a Le Mans car in the media; the first use of what would become Le Mans Prototypes was at the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans. In an attempt to increase the number of entrants beyond the small field of Group C competitors that the World Sportscar Championship had to offer, older Porsche 962s were allowed entry in Category 3. To further increase the size of the field, small open-cockpit race cars using production road car engines which were raced in small national championships, were allowed in Category 4. Only three cars were entered, with all failing to run more than a few hours; however at the end of 1992, the World Sportscar Championship as well as the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship collapsed, leaving the expensive Group C prototypes little competition outside Le Mans. With Group C being phased out, the ACO chose to allow production-based race cars to enter for the first time in many years, while at the same time creating the Le Mans Prototype class.
The cars continued to use the same formula as they had in 1992. ACO announced their intentions to replace the Group C cars with Le Mans Prototypes in 1994. However, LMP1 cars this year were just ex-GroupC cars Two classes were created, with LMP1s running large displacement custom-built engines that were turbocharged, LMP2s using the smaller displacement production-based engines. Both classes were required to have open cockpits. At the same time, the IMSA GT Championship announced the end of their closed cockpit GTP and Lights classes, deciding as well to replace them with a single open-cockpit class of World Sports Cars equivalent to LMP1; this formula continued up to 1996, with many manufacturers embracing the LMP and WSC classes, including Ferrari and Mazda. In 1997, the first European series based around Le Mans Prototypes was launched, known as the "International Sports Racing Series". Using classes similar to LMP1/WSC and LMP2, these cars were known as "SR1" and "SR2" by the FIA. 1998 saw the creation of another series of Le Mans Prototypes, with the new United States Road Racing Championship attempting to break away from the IMSA GT Championship.
To differ from IMSA'S WSC class, the USRRC named their open-cockpit prototypes "Can-Am" in an attempt to resurrect the sportscar championship of the 1970s. However the USRRC collapsed before the end of 1999, with the series becoming the Rolex Sports Car Series who chose to use the FIA's SR1 and SR2 formula instead. 1998 saw a great expansion for the ACO's LMP classes. Following the cancellation of the IMSA GT Championship at the end of 1998, the ACO allowed for the creation of the American Le Mans Series; this series used the same class structure as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, meaning it was the first championship to use the LMP name. At the same time, the ACO altered their LMP classes; the smaller LMP2 class were eliminated, while a new class of closed-cockpit prototypes were allowed in, known as "LMGTP". These cars were evolutions of production-based road cars that the ACO considered too advanced and too fast to fall under the GT class regulations, forcing the ACO to promote them to prototypes.
In 2000, changes were made to the LMP regulations, as the ACO once again split the open-cockpit LMP class. The two new classes became known as "LMP900" and "LMP675", with the numbers denoting the minimum weight requirements for each class; the LMP900s were to be more powerful and faster in top speed, but heavier and more cumbersome. The LMP675s were to lack the top speed of the larger class. Both classes were intended to be able to compete for overall wins. Audi, Chrysler and Panoz opted to use the LMP900 formula, while MG were the only major manufacturer to attempt the LMP675 class; the LMGTP class continued, with Bentley being the only manufacturer to build a closed-cockpit prototype after the regulation changes in 2000. Outside Le Mans, the FIA's SR classes suffered from these rule changes; the SR2 class no longer aligned with the new LMP675 class, with the more powerful and durable racing engines that were allowed there. The SR1 and LMP900 classes did not use the same rules, although engines were similar.
This meant that teams competing in the newly re
Toyota Motorsport GmbH
Toyota Motorsport GmbH is a owned and controlled entity of the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation, based in Cologne, Germany. It employs around 200 people in a 30,000m2 factory and provides motorsport and automotive services to fellow Toyota companies and to outside clients; as of the 2018 season, TMG operates Toyota's FIA World Endurance Championship factory team under the name Toyota Gazoo Racing. TMG's WEC team is not to be confused with Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, Toyota's factory team in the FIA World Rally Championship and is not operated by TMG. TMG was responsible, under the name Toyota Team Europe, for Toyota's World Rally Championship cars starting from the 1970s right up to the 1990s. In addition, since 1994, TMG has developed a tuning business for Toyota road cars, offering complete vehicle service and sports accessories. In 1999 the company stopped participating in rallying, in order to prepare for a switch to Formula One in 2002. From 2002 to 2009, TMG participated in Formula 1 under the team name Panasonic Toyota Racing, starting 139 Grands Prix.
In that time, they finished on the podium 13 times, earned three pole positions and scored a total of 278.5 points. On 4 November 2009, Toyota announced their withdrawal from Formula 1. In the meantime, it entered sports car racing and the 24 Hours of Le Mans: in 1998 and 1999, finishing 2nd in 1999 with their notably quick Toyota GT-One. TMG has moved back into sports car racing as an exclusive engine supplier from 2011 onwards to Lola Cars, powering Rebellion Racing. In 2012 TMG returned to sports car competition with the Toyota TS030 Hybrid. In addition to its motorsport activities, Toyota Motorsport undertakes production vehicle analysis and development on behalf of Toyota, providing "highly skilled and reacting engineering" services. A range of modified Toyota road cars is available from the Cologne factory. TTE was started in London in 1972 when Toyota representatives and Ove Andersson, who won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1971, decided that he should drive a Toyota Celica in the RAC Rally in the autumn of that year.
Andersson came ninth, beating other Japanese top teams who worked with the Datsun 240Z. The Toyota Celica had to travel from Japan to the European events all the time, not good for the car, so Andersson set up a workshop of his own, Andersson Motorsport, which became Toyota's first European team, it was founded in 1973 with its workshop in Sweden. Shortly thereafter it moved to Belgium, it ran Corollas and Celicas with some help from Japan for major events. Toyota Team Europe began in February 1975. In August of that year, Hannu Mikkola won TTE's first rally, the 1000 Lakes Rally in a Corolla 1600, where the competition used 2.0 L engines. In 1979 TTE moved 11 of the 20 employees from Brussels to Cologne, where the Toyota Allee was created; this was the first time it used a Celica Turbo, TTE won the next two Safaris. In September 1987, TTE moved to a larger premises, it was the time they revealed their first four wheel drive car, the Toyota Celica GT-Four, driven by Juha Kankkunen and Kenneth Eriksson.
Carlos Sainz won the 1990 FIA World Rally Championship Title for Drivers with ST165. The newer GT-Four, ST185, made its debut at the 1992 Rallye Monte Carlo, culminating in Sainz again winning the title in this year; the ST185 won the WRC Driver's and Manufacturer's Titles in 1993 with Juha Kankkunen, in 1994 with Didier Auriol. In 1993 Toyota Motor Corporation bought TTE which renamed Toyota Motorsport GmbH. At this time, as a owned part of Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motorsport were employing 300 staff from 17 nations. In 1995 TTE was banned for 12 months from the World Rally Championship for cheating by designing an illegal air restrictor on the ST205 that included both a bypass mechanism and spring-loaded devices to conceal it from scrutineers. In the 1996 and 1997, despite lack of works team appearance in 1996 due to the ban, TTE supported the Celica ST205 rallied by Italian HF Grifone Team, Toyota Team Sweden, Marlboro Toyota Team Belgium, Tein Sport in the selected WRC events, before introduced the Corolla WRC in the 1997 Rally of Finland.
When they returned to the WRC for 1998, they did so with a Corolla WRC driven by the crews of Carlos Sainz/Luis Moya and Didier Auriol/Denis Giraudet. They finished the season in second overall in both Constructors' Championships. In 1999, the manufacturers championship was taken, the third in TTE's existence. In addition to spearheading Toyota's efforts in the World Rally Championship, the group has developed and run the Toyota GT-One and Toyota TS030 Hybrid in sports car racing; the GT-One entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in both 1998 and 1999, the TS030 Hybrid made its début in 2012. Introduced in time for Le Mans in 1998, the GT-One first appeared at the official testing days for the race held in May. Three GT-Ones appeared, setting the 2nd, 5th, 10th best times beating out custom built prototypes which were meant to be the superior class. For the race week itself, all three cars performed admirably in qualifying by continuing their quick pace, qualifying 2nd, 7th, 8th, being beaten only by their GT class competitor, Mercedes-Benz.
For the race itself, the No. 28 GT-One suffered from a high speed accident halfway through the race, taking it out of competition. The two other entrants continued to fight on, both remaining in the top 10. However, within the closing hours, the higher ranked No. 29 GT-One suffered a gearbox failure while in competition for the race win. Thus Toyota was left to take 9th place in the race with the lone No. 27 entry, which ended the race 25 laps behind the winning Porsche 9
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
12 Hours of Sebring
The 12 Hours of Sebring is an annual motorsport endurance race for sports cars held at Sebring International Raceway, on the site of the former Hendricks Army Airfield World War II air base in Sebring, Florida. The event is the second round of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and in the past has been a round of the now defunct World Sportscar Championship, IMSA GT Championship and American Le Mans Series. In 2012, the race was the opening event of the FIA World Endurance Championship; the track opened in 1950 on an airfield and is a road racing course styled after those used in European Grand Prix motor racing. The first race was a six-hour race on New Year's Eve 1950, with the next race held 14 months as the first 12 Hours of Sebring; the race is famous for its "once around the clock" action, starting during the day and finishing at night. From 1953 to 1972 the 12 Hour was a round of the FIA’s premier sports car series, contested under various names including the World Sportscar Championship and the International Championship for Makes.
In its early years, the Sebring circuit combined former airport runways with narrow two-lane service roads. The 1966 event was a turning point in Sebring history, as the facilities and the safety of the circuit were criticized. Five people were killed during the race, more people killed than in the race's prior 15-year history combined. Bob McLean crashed. In another incident Mario Andretti in his Ferrari 365 P2 tangled with Don Wester's Porsche 906 on the Warehouse Straight near the Webster Turns, killing four spectators and crashing into a warehouse next to the track. Subsequent to these events, the facilities were upgraded and the circuit layout was changed, including eliminating the Webster Turns and creating the Green Park Chicane further down the track to move the straight further away from the airport warehouses; the circuit was made safer and there were no fatalities until 1980. It is known as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the track's bumpy surface, combined with south-central Florida's perennial hot weather, is a test of a car's reliability.
In recent years, six overall victories have been achieved by the Audi R8, one fewer than the record seven wins of the Porsche 935. Tom Kristensen has won the race more times than anyone else, with six victories—in 1999–2000, 2005–2006, 2009 and in 2012; the 1966 race had Dan Gurney leading at the last lap, when his engine of his Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk II seized near the end. Gurney pushed his car over the finish line, beaten only by Lloyd Ruby. However, his actions were determined to be against the rules and he did not receive credit for his finish. In 2005, the Chevrolet Corvette C6. R and Aston Martin DBR9 made their race debut in the hotly contested GT1 class, with Aston Martin winning its class for the first time in 49 years at Sebring ahead of the two Corvettes. Corvette had dominated the class the past three years with its previous generation C5R; the all-new Audi R10 TDI won the 2006 edition of the race, the car's first run in competition. The much-hyped Porsche RS Spyder campaigned by Penske Racing dropped to take 2nd place in its LMP2 class, behind the Intersport Lola car.
The GT1 Corvette C6R team got their revenge against the Aston Martin, although the second Corvette came within 1/3 of a second of the podium in the closing laps of the race. 2007 saw Audi again winning in the R10 TDI despite requiring more frequent refueling due to changes in American Le Mans series rules intended to the field between gasoline and diesel-powered engines. ^A The car was in fact, a Porsche 935 K3, modified with a single plug cylinder head and a front nose to resemble a Porsche 934 to comply to IMSA GTO specification. ^B These races were stopped for a period of time due to heavy rain and/or accidents. The race clock was not counted towards the 12 Hours. ^C Race record for most distance covered. ^D Technically the race "winner" in 1950 was the Crosley Hot Shot of Fritz Koster / Ralph Deshon, entered by Victor Sharpe Jr. of Tampa. While the Wacker / Burrell Allard did cover more distance, the race was run under the "Index of Performance" handicapping rules and the Crosley, with a much smaller engine than the Cadillac-powered Allard, is listed in the Official Sebring Record Book as the winner.
Official Homepage United SportsCar Championship official site
Signature is a French auto racing team that competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team won the FIA European Formula Three Cup in 1999 with Benoît Tréluyer, it won the French Formula Three Championship in 2000 with Jonathan Cochet as driver, who won the European Cup and Masters of Formula 3 that year, won the Korea Super Prix for the team in 2001. In 2002, Renaud Derlot won the European F3 Cup for the team. In 2003, Signature won the team championship in the first Formula Renault V6 Eurocup, with Tristan Gommendy and Kosuke Matsuura as drivers, they moved from the defunct French F3 series to its replacement, the Formula 3 Euro Series, Nicolas Lapierre and Fabio Carbone completed a 1–2 finish for the team at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix. Edoardo Mortara and Jean-Karl Vernay repeated this feat in 2009; the team began competing in the Le Mans Series in 2009 in the LMP1 category. The 2010 season was an outstanding one for Signature in the F3 Euroseries with Edoardo Mortara and Marco Wittmann finishing first and second in the series, winning eight races between them, taking the team championship.
Signatech provided the chassis for the Formula Future Fiat, a junior formula racing series in Brazil held in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, in cooperation with the Nissan GT Academy, Signatech finished 2nd in LMP2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2012, Signature decided to pull out of the Formula 3 Euro Series, to concentrate on its involvement in sport car races; the team finished 10th overall at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans using a Nissan-powered Oreca 03. In 2013, Renault Alpine partnered with Signatech to run an LMP2 car in the European Le Mans Series with French drivers Pierre Ragues and Nelson Panciatici. Signatech won Driver's championships. In 2014, Signatech delivered chassis for the Formula 4 Sudamericana. In 2015, continuing its partnership with Renault-Alpine, returned to the FIA World Endurance Championship and in 2016 won the championship LMP2 category, Official website