Honda Grand Prix St Petersburg, Florida 2012

Friday, 8am- from my bedroom I can hear the Honda Indy cars starting their test runs. Its music to my hears. The city is barricaded as the race is held right downtown. The cars speed around the Dali Museum, the Mahaffey Theatre, the Albert Whitted Airport, the high-rise condos, Al Lang baseball field, office buildings, the marina and more. I don’t mind the noise or the barricades like some of the locals. To me it’s exciting. How many cities get to play host to an Indy race in the middle of their city?

Yes, they started putting the barricades and the wire fences 3 weeks ago and for people like my parents who live right downtown in the middle of the course, it gets very difficult to maneuver around town.  My parents’ condo building is literally in the middle of the course. We usually go up to the top of the building where the pool is and the balcony wraps around the entire top of the building. Talk about a fantastic view of St Pete and the race!

Two weeks ago, I was trying to show some clients from St John’s New Foundland a condo and the Dali Museum but no matter what way I turned the road was blocked. We finally made it but it took 15 minutes instead of the usually 2 minutes. Luckily, they thought that I was just showing them around town and they had not noticed the detour signs. I didn’t mind either. It was a gorgeous day for a drive.

I will miss not seeing Danica Patrick racing in her signature green and black number 7 car. Alas, she has moved on to other races.

Last night the Festival of States parade officially started it off followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

The schedule of events from the official site (http://www.gpstpete.com) is listed below:

Thursday, March 22

5:35-6:05pm – USF2000 Practice
6:10-6:40pm – Star Mazda Practice
7:30pm – Festival of States Parade
Green Flag VIP Luncheon, by invitation only

Friday, March 23

8:00-8:30am – Pirelli World Challenge Practice
8:45-9:20am – Ferrari Challenge Practice
9:35-10:15am – Firestone Indy Lights Practice
10:30-11:00am – USF2000 Practice
11:05-11:35am – Star Mazda Practice
11:50-12:50pm – IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
1:05-1:40pm – Ferrari Challenge Practice
1:55-2:35pm – Firestone Indy Lights Practice
2:50-3:50pm – IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
4:05-4:35pm – USF2000 Qualifying
4:40-5:10pm – Star Mazda Qualifying
5:25-5:55pm – Pirelli World Challenge Practice
6:10-7:00pm – Ferrari Qualifying #1
7:00pm – Welcome Party (by invitation only)
7:15pm – HGPSP 5K Run

Saturday, March 24

8:00-8:45am – Pirelli World Challenge Qualifying
9:00-9:40am – Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying
9:55-10:55am – IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
11:10-12:00pm – Ferrari Race #1
12:10-12:50pm – USF2000 Race #1
1:00-1:40pm – Star Mazda Race #1
1:55-3:15 – IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying
3:30-4:40pm – Firestone Indy Lights Race
4:55-5:45pm – Ferrari Qualifying #2
6:00-7:00pm – Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, Pirelli World Challenge Race #1

Sunday, March 25

8:00-8:20am – Ferrari Sponsor Hot Laps
8:35-9:05am – IZOD IndyCar Series Warm-up
9:15-9:55am – USF2000 Race #2
10:05-10:45am – Star Mazda Race #2
11:00-12:00pm – Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, Pirelli World Challenge Race #2
12:00-12:30pm – IZOD IndyCar Series Pre-Race
12:30-3:00pm – Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, IZOD IndyCar Series Race
3:30-4:20pm – Ferrari Race #2

Autograph Sessions

Friday, March 23 – 12:00-12:30pm – Star Mazda
Friday, March 23 – 12:00-12:30pm – USF2000
Saturday, March 24 – 11:45-12:45pm – IndyCar Group 1
Saturday, March 24 – 1:00-1:30pm – Firestone Indy Lights
Saturday, March 24 – 1:00-2:00pm – Pirelli World Challenge
Saturday, March 24 – 4:00-5:00pm – IndyCar Group 2
*All IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Star Mazda and USF2000 Autograph Sessions are located in the IndyCar Fan Village.

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