IndyCar stars to race in Sebring 12 Hours

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IndyCar’s defending series champion, rookie-of-the-year and Indianapolis 500 polesitter all get another racing opportunity before the St. Petersburg IndyCar season opener.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (center), Simon Pagenaud (far right) and Ryan Briscoe (far left) will all race for the Level 5 Motorsports team in the American Le Mans Series’ Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 16, according to a SPEED.com report.

While Hunter-Reay has raced with this team before, Pagenaud and Briscoe make their first starts with Scott Tucker’s team. Each gained prototype racing experience before their IndyCar careers began in earnest.

Marino Franchitti, younger brother of Dario, will also race for the team with Tucker driving in both the team’s HPD prototypes.

Unfortunately, this race marks Briscoe’s first confirmed race of 2013. He is currently without a full-time ride in the IndyCar ranks, as Roger Penske will downsize his team from three full-time cars to two. Hunter-Reay and Pagenaud resume with Andretti Autosport and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, respectively.

Townsend Bell, one of NBC Sports Network’s pit reporters for IndyCar last season, is also projected to race in a GT class Ferrari F458 Italia.

The race in Sebring occurs on March 16, one week before the IndyCar curtain raiser at St. Pete on March 24.