Since the creation of the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1952, Sebring International Raceway has become one of the top circuits in the history of endurance racing, where many 24 Hours of Le Mans winners have made their mark in the U.S. As the FIA World Endurance Championship gears back up for the 1000 Miles of Sebring on 15 March, here's a look at American triumphs at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring.
Ford: two circuits and six wins - The only American marque to claim the top step on the overall podium at Le Mans, with four wins in a row between 1966 and 1969, Ford has won Sebring twice, in 1967 and 1969.
Phil Hill: Le Mans and Sebring, a major coup in endurance racing - The first American driver to triumph at Le Mans, Phil Hill has won both races three times, even winning them in the same year twice (1958 and 1961).
A.J. Foyt: victories at top circuits - Winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for his only participation in 1967, A.J. Foyt also won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1985 as well as clinching wins at two other legendary American circuits: Daytona (both the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 at Daytona) and Indianapolis.
Mario Andretti: taking on the 24 Hours of Le Mans...and Steve McQueen! - Winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1969 then Formula 1 Wolrd Champion in 1978, Mario Andretti was the last American driver contender for the Triple Crown as he attempted to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1980 and 1990. He came very close with second place in 1995 after claiming a podium finish in 1983 with his son Michael (third). On the other hand, he has won the 12 Hours of Sebring three times, always joined by a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner: Bruce McLaren in 1967, Nino Vaccarella in 1970 and Jacky Ickx in 1972. In 1970, he achieved what he still considers to be the best performance of his career, beating the Porsche 908 of Peter Revson - and Steve McQueen - in the last hour.
Bruce McLaren: Le Mans, Sebring...and Formula 1 - On 12 December 1959, the Sebring International Raceway hosted the Formula 1 American Grand Prix the only time in the circuit's history. The race was won by New Zealander Bruce McLaren who remained the youngest winner in the discipline until his record was beaten by Fernando Alonso (2003), then Sebastian Vettel (2008) and Max Verstappen (2016). Later, along with fellow countryman Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren won the first of Ford's four consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966, before winning the 12 Hours of Sebring the following year, still with Ford, but joined by Mario Andretti.
PHOTO: For 20 years, the Chevy Corvette has been the undisputed "American star" of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring, with nine class wins in France and 11 in Florida!