The 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg begins today, Thursday, March 24 with festivities & activites to celebrate the start of the IZOD IndyCar Series season. 
There are many things happening besides the actual races including driver appearances & autographs, air shows with helicopters, stunt planes & jumping, music, food, Festival of the States parade, fireworks, a giant ferris wheel, kids activites, interactive activities, and many charitable causes. The cars start their practices at 8am on Friday with the races ending Sunday evening. Even though I am about 10 minutes from downtown, the way the noise drifts over the water, I can hear the cars from my house. I don’t mind the sound at all-I actually get very excited. How many cities  have a major car race in their cities with the actual race track weaving through downtown? The track meanders along the waterfront around Bayfront Towers, where my parents live, in front of the marina, St Pete Yacht club, restaurants, Al Lang Stadium, the Mahaffey Theatre, & new Dali Museum. There are barracades blocking off the race track.

Unfortunately, I have a friend who flew in fromSt Louis to teach classes on social media to Realtors & affiliates at PRO. We have had a plan to see the new Dali Museum for about a year now. I guess that tonight & tomorrrow I will show him the Honda Grand Prix instead & he will just have to come back to the Dali later. By the way, the weather is sunny, clear, 80 degrees with a slight breeze and no humidity. Perfect for races & visiting!

The following schedule is copied from the official website:   http://www.gpstpete.com/

Schedule

**SPECTATOR GATES WILL OPEN AT 8:00AM EACH DAY (FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY)

Thursday, March 24

11:30am—12:30pm    Green Flag VIP Luncheon, by invitation only
7:00pm                     Festival of States Parade / Fireworks

Friday, March 25

8:05—8:35am             World Challenge practice
8:55—9:15am             USF2000 practice
9:20—10:00am           Star Mazda practice
10:15—11:15am          IZOD IndyCar Series practice
11:35—12:05pm          World Challenge practice
12:15—12:35pm          Drifting cars on-track
12:45—1:05pm            USF2000 practice
1:00—2:00pm             INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group A), Bright House Speed Zone
1:10—1:45pm             Star Mazda practice
2:00—2:45pm             Firestone Indy Lights practice
2:45—3:00pm             Air Show – Jump Team
3:00—4:00pm             IZOD IndyCar Series practice
4:00—4:20pm             Air Show – Helicopter
4:20—4:50pm             USF2000 qualifying
4:50—5:10pm             Air Show – Stunt Plane
5:10—6:00pm             World Challenge qualifying
6:00—9:00pm             Welcome Party, by invitation only
6:15pm                      HGPSP 5K with Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation

Saturday, March 26

8:05—8:50am             Star Mazda qualifying
9:10—9:55am             Firestone Indy Lights practice
10:10—11:10am         IZOD IndyCar Series practice
11:00am—12:00pm     Road to Indy driver autograph session, Bright House Speed Zone
11:20—11:40am         Drifting cars on-track
11:50am—1:05pm      ACURA Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, World Challenge race #1
12:30—1:30pm           INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group B), INDYCAR Fan Village
1:25—2:10pm             Firestone Indy Lights qualifying
2:10—2:30pm             Air Show – Jump Team
2:30—3:50pm             IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying & Firestone Fast Six
3:50—4:10pm             Air Show – Helicopter
4:10—5:10pm             Star Mazda race
4:45—5:45pm             INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group C), INDYCAR Fan Village
5:10—5:20pm             Air Show – Stunt Plane
5:20—6:00pm             USF2000 race #1

Sunday, March 27

8:05—8:20am             Firestone Indy Lights warm-up
8:40—9:10am             IZOD IndyCar Series warm-up
9:20—9:50am             Drifting cars on-track
10:25—10:35pm         Air Show – Helicopter
10:30—11:45am         Firestone Indy Lights race
11:55—12:05pm         Air Show – Stunt Plane
12:00—12:30pm         IZOD IndyCar Series pre-race ceremonies
12:30—3:00pm           IZOD IndyCar Series race, Honda Indy St. Pete
3:00—3:30pm            IZOD IndyCar Series post-race ceremonies
3:30—4:10pm            USF2000 race #2
4:15—4:30pm             Air Show – Jump Team
4:30—5:45pm            ACURA Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, World Challenge race #2

* Subject to change
 
INDYCAR Group A
Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Mike Conway,Ryan Hunter-Reay, Vitor Meira, Oriol Servia, Raphael Matos, Sebastian Saavedra
  
INDYCAR Group B
Helio Castroneves, Will Power, Ryan Briscoe, JR Hildebrand, Sebastian Bordious, James Jakes,Simona de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz, Justin Wilson, Alex Tagliani
 
INDYCAR Group C
Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal, EJ Viso,Takuma Sato, Tony Kanaan

for more info, please clink on the official website     http://www.gpstpete.com/

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