Fourth Annual HSR Spring Fling at Sebring International Raceway, April 6 - 8, First Race Since IMSA Acquisition of HSR in January
Less than three weeks after the checkered flag waved on the blockbuster 70th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, IMSA makes somewhat of a return visit to Sebring International Raceway this week for the season-opening Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Spring Fling, April 6 - 8.
The season-opening HSR race for the fourth-straight year, the 2022 Spring Fling follows the announcement during January's 60th Rolex 24 At Daytona that IMSA acquired HSR. The HSR Spring Fling marks the debut race under the new ownership of what can now truly be described as IMSA's newest series featuring its oldest racing machines.
While HSR is now the eighth racing series under the IMSA umbrella, no present plans are in place to change HSR's current racing operations, management group and race-weekend staff. HSR President David Hinton and a familiar team of established and dedicated personnel remain at the center of HSR's day-to-day and race weekend operations.
Dedicated to historic and vintage motorsport competition, HSR offers a variety of classes and run groups for sports cars and other road racing machines from the last 65 years and beyond. The new IMSA ownership solidifies what has already been a strong relationship with HSR. Since 2015, IMSA has been the presenting sponsor of HSR's premier Classic Daytona 24 Hour race, and dozens of teams and drivers regularly compete in ex-IMSA race cars on any given HSR race weekend.
One notable entry this week at the Spring Fling that was a winning part of IMSA's revered and original GTP era is the Rogers Motorsports 1985 No. 44 Group 44 Jaguar XJR-7 (pictured at top).
Chassis No. 001, the XJR7 debuted at the 1985 IMSA Camel GT Daytona 3-Hour Finale where Group 44 fielded both its first XJR7 and a previous generation XJR5. The 001 Jaguar's finest moment came less than two years later when Hurley Haywood and John Morton drove the V12-powered XJR7 to victory in the 1987 Grand Prix of Palm Beach. The Jaguar made its final race start in its prime in the 1988 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and current owner Jim Rogers purchased the XJR7 in the early 1990s. Doug Smith, a multiple HSR Classic Daytona race winner, is Rogers' go-to driver of choice for the Jaguar and once again takes to the wheel at the Spring Fling.
The 2022 HSR Spring Fling at Sebring returns with the same Wednesday through Friday weekday event format that proved popular with competitors and race fans alike last year. The schedule includes the first 2022 rounds of the B.R.M. Chronographes Endurance Challenge in a special Friday doubleheader. The one hour Vintage and GT Classic (GTC) B.R.M. Endurance Challenge kicks Friday's schedule off at 8 a.m. EDT. The opening race will be followed by the Historic, Prototype and GT Modern (GTM) 60-minute endurance challenge that afternoon at 12:45 p.m. EDT.
The WeatherTech Sprint Series is another primary part of the packed HSR Spring Fling schedule with the usual doubleheader race lineup bolstered by a third bonus race Friday. After Thursday's first round of WeatherTech Sprints, two more races will be run for all Groups on Friday morning and later that afternoon.
Thursday's schedule features qualifying all morning with that afternoon's opening round of WeatherTech Sprints setting the stage for the week's first feature races. The season-opening HSR Sasco Sports International/American Challenge race starts Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT and will be followed by the first HSR Stoner Car Care Global GT race of the season at 4:30 p.m. EDT.
A full day of testing for all Run Groups kicks the 2022 Spring Fling off Wednesday and will be followed by a meet-and-greet with IMSA President John Doonan at the Sebring International Raceway Legends Building at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Open to all members of the HSR community, the casual mixer is a way for HSR members and competitors to get to know Doonan and IMSA a little better after January's announcement.
Spectator tickets for the HSR Spring Fling are available exclusively at Sebring International Raceway beginning at 9 a.m. EDT this Wednesday, April 6.
About HSR: Now an International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) property, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) was formed in the mid-1970s with an event at Road Atlanta. There was one goal then and it remains true today: to celebrate the race cars from the past. As a "time machine" of sights and sounds, HSR provides a venue for competitors and spectators alike to share in the wonderful history and excitement created by the cars that competed at race tracks around the world. HSR currently sanctions eight vintage and historic racing events at some of the world's most renowned race tracks, including Road Atlanta, Sebring International Raceway, Daytona International Speedway and more. The complete schedule and full event information can be found on HSR's website at www.HSRRace.com. Look for the HSR Channel on YouTube and follow HSR on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HSRrace/ and on Twitter and Instagram at @HSR_race. A dedicated website for the Classic 24 Hour at Daytona presented by IMSA is available at www.Classic24hour.com.