2023 Twelve Hours of Sebring: Schedule, TV information, streaming, start times, more Katherine Legge, Sheena Monk renew connection with fateful call at Gradient Racing
Sebring start time, TV guide: The cars and stars of two of the world’s biggest sports car series return this week to the venerable Sebring International Raceway.
The 71st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring rounds off a week of action-packed racing in central Florida. Sebring will host the World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The WEC season opener will take place on Friday from noon to 8 pm ET with the FIA WEC 1000 Miles of Sebring. The following day, Sebring will host its annual 12-hour classic. The second round of the IMSA season will mark the debut on the track in the top GTP category for hybrid prototypes.
The Rolex 24 at the season opener in Dayton was won for the second year in a row by Meyer Shank Racing, who will travel to Sebring after a hefty fine for manipulating tire pressure information.
Last year, the number 02 Cadillac Racing VR won the top DPi class in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. This Chip Ganassi Racing entrant (with drivers Earl Bamber, Richard Westbrook and Alex Lynn) will compete Friday in the hypercar category at the WEC Opening, the first of seven WEC rounds for the second Cadillac V-Series.R, including the 100th 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The fourth-place team in the 2023 Rolex 24 in Dayton competed last weekend at Sebring in the prologue, which included four free practice sessions spanning over 12 hours on a 3,741-mile, 17-turn track.
“It’s great to be back in Sebring, where Cadillac has had a lot of success, including our win last year,” Bamber said in a press release. “Now we are here with the new Cadillac V-Series.R and we are looking forward to it. The prologue went well. Every session we were at or near the top of the table – doing long runs, learning the tires and fully gearing up for the race because on Wednesday when we come back on Wednesday we have short practice sessions and it’s straight into the race. A brand new team in terms of what we did at Daytona, but now it’s a WEC team with a team from Europe, so we’re all learning. I’m looking forward to the race.”
Westbrook said: “It’s a brand new program, WEC, and it looks like it. But what a start we have made, and much is yet to come. The whole team will get stronger and stronger and I think everyone is excited. Cadillac is really strong, but we knew that from Daytona, so we have a good base to work with. There is a lot to be positive about in the run-up to race week.”
Here are the details of the 71st IMSA Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway (all times are ET):
2023 IMSA Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway
WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 10:10
DISTANCE: 12-hour race on a 17-turn, 3.74-mile track in Sebring, Florida.
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.comexpected to be 72 degrees with a 67% chance of rain with a green flag.
LIST OF INPUTS: Click here to see the field for the 2023 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
EXERCISE: Session I l Session II l Session III
BROADCAST OF THE RACE
TV: The Twelve Hours of Sebring will be broadcast worldwide. NBC sports app, NBCSports.com and Peacock, who will cover the event from flag to flag starting at 10:00 am on March 19th. USA Network will also cover the race from 4:30 pm to 10:30 pm.
NBC Sports will have nine of its IMSA and IndyCar commentators, analysts and reporters on site in Sebring, including its lead game-by-game voice-over team of IMSA commentators Lee Diffie with analysts Calvin Fish and Townsend Bell.
Kevin Lee, Dillon Welch, Hannah Newhouse and Matt Yocum will be reporting. Brian Till (analyst) and Dave Burns (art director) will also be commentators.
RADIO: All sessions are broadcast on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; The SiriusXM race live stream starts March 19 at 9:45 AM (Sirius Channel 216, XM 207, Web/App 992).
TWELVE HOUR SEBRING SCHEDULE FOR THE DAY, START TIME
Here’s a rundown of everything that’s happening this week at Sebring International Raceway (all times are ET):
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15
8:55 a.m. – 9:25 a.m. ET: Porsche Carrera Cup Practice #1
9:40-10:40: Michelin Pilot Challenge Practice #1
10:55-11:55: FIA World Endurance Championship Free Practice No. 1
12:10-12:50: Porsche Carrera Cup Practice #2
13:05–14:05: Michelin Pilot Challenge Practice #2
15:05–15:35: Porsche Carrera Cup Qualification
15:50-16:25: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying
16:35-17:35: FIA WEC Free Practice #2
THURSDAY, MARCH 16
9:15-9:55: Porsche Carrera Cup Race #1
10:10-11:40: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice #1
11:55-12:55: FIA WEC Free Practice #3
13:20–15:20: Alan Jay 120 Michelin Pilot Challenge
15:50-17:20: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice #2
17:35-18:15: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race No. 2
18:30-19:35: FIA WEC Qualification
19:45-21:15: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice #3
FRIDAY, MARCH 17
8:55-9:05: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Practice #4
9:15-10:25: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Qualifier
Noon-8pm: FIA WEC 1000 miles of Sebring
SATURDAY, MARCH 18
8-8:20: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Warm Up
10:10: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 70th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
(Editor’s note: One of a Motorsports Talk series of women racing in March, Women’s History Month.)
A critical phone call and two major crashes helped set the stage for the two women to team up for this season’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Sheena Monk, who was trying to move into the premier sports car series, ran into an uncertain 2023 racing season late last year when she happened to call Katherine Legge about something unrelated to her future career.
“We just started talking and ideas started going back and forth and we said, ‘Hey, let’s make some phone calls and see what we can come up with,'” Monk told NBC Sports in a January interview ahead of the Rolex presentation. 24 in Dayton. “And before you know it, we have completed this Acura NSX GT3 program.”
TWELVE HOURS OF SEBRING: Details, schedule, information to watch Saturday’s race
Legge’s longstanding relationship with Acura – it was part of his first NSX GT win at Detroit in 2017 – helped land a deal with Gradient Racing, which announced a deal in early January for the No. 66 Honda Performance Development Acura backed by JG Wentworth. NSX GT3 Evo22.
“Sheena mentioned what she was trying to do and I said the NSX would be a great place for her to get into the top tier of the IMSA,” Legge told NBC Sports. “We started talking and the only team that was considering it was Gradient, so I contacted them and HPD and tried to put something together.
“I think it was a whirlwind, but Sheena excites me. This car I know and developed. It’s better than I remember.”
Monk and Legge also knew each other a few years ago. Legge was Monk’s driving coach when she broke nine bones (mostly ribs and pelvic fractures). from a vicious frontal crash into a tailspin at Laguna Seca Raceway during the Lamborghini Super Trofeo in September 2018.
“I remember being in the hospital a few hours later and my brother said, ‘Do you think you’re going back to racing?’ Monk recalled. “I was still very, very new. Less than a year in my career. I immediately said, “No.” I thought I was done at that moment. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I knew I wasn’t going to like it and needed to persevere and come back. I think it just had a big effect on the character. I did not want to leave the sport and did not want to leave it on that note. So I just kept pushing, and have been steadily climbing the latter ever since.”
Monk recovered to win the Michelin Pilot race less than two years later at Road America – just weeks after Legge was hospitalized with a broken leg and wrist in a testing accident at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.
“Katherine attended my very first IMSA race just a few months before the Laguna crash,” Monk said. “So, she endured this whole situation with me. She didn’t train me for a short period of time, but then she had an accident in France and I reached out to her just to say, “I hope you’re doing well, and if you need anything, let me know.” .’
“At the time, we kind of bonded over what it was like to be back. You just have to be patient and…