Sebring’s First Arrival
Joe Villone is the first fan in line at Sebring: he arrived
on Monday of this week, and parked his motorhome at the front of
the first time he’s been first. He arrived in January of 2002,
and stayed there for two and a half months – prior to the
50th anniversary race.
more or less my vacation," he said at the time: he was also
first in the line in 1998.
record for arriving early is held by Patrick Taylor. The former
Palm Bay resident arrived on Christmas Eve of 2002 to be the first
in line for last year’s race. It was a rumour that Villone
had planned to arrive on New Year's Day last year that sparked the
early arrival by the Palm Bay man.
Taylor won’t be joining Joe Villone. Taylor first began coming
to the 12 Hours in 1980, when he was introduced to the endurance
classic by his then girlfriend. The relationship didn't last, but
his love for Sebring continued. But Patrick Taylor died on June
26 of last year. He was 50 years old.