Yippee! It’s here! That time of year when our downtown & waterfront become a major race car track. Actually, there are 6 different kinds of Racing Series that take place during the 3 day event. The drivers & audience come from all over the world. Oh, I can hear them practicing from my house as I write this blog!
The Verizon IndyCar Series is the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States. It offers one of the most diverse and challenging schedules in motorsports with races held on ovals, permanent road courses and temporary street courses. IndyCar Series has been here since 2005.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is the top step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system for drivers and teams striving to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Nineteen of the 33 starters in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 were Indy Lights graduates.
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires is the second step on the Mazda Road to Indy, bridging the gap between the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The series’ champion is awarded a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Indy Lights competition the following year. Graduates include Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy. In addition to providing a vital training ground for rising stars, the series champion will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Drivers who have honed their skills in the series include Indy 500 winners Dan Wheldon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Buddy Rice.
The Pirelli World Challenge Championships is North America’s top production car-based championship. World Challenge is separated into three classes: GT, GTS and Touring Car.
Robby Gordon’s SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks are high-powered off-road trucks that race side-by-side on challenging dirt and asphalt tracks with challenges that include huge jumps, crossovers, whoop sections and many tight corners.
From the 2015 brochure, you can see that the track is right downtown St Pete & then goes along the waterfront in front of the Dali Museum, Old Lang Stadium & the Mahaffey Theater before heading onto the Albert Whitted Airport runway.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is not only among the most respected motorsports events in North America and some of the fastest racing series on the planet, you have a chance to see drivers, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities. These activities include the
- Bright House Speed Zone
- Verizon IndyCar Series Fan Village
- Beer Gardens
- Driver Autograph Sessions
- Interactive games & exhibits
So come on down to St Pete & have some great fun! There are shuttles that will take you from the parking lots to the race. Gates open on Friday, March 11 & Saturday, March 12th 7:30am-6pm and on Sunday, March 13th 8am-5pm.
I mean, how awesome is this to have this only 5 minutes from my house? I’m so excited, as I am every year.