The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returns each spring for another weekend of speed and excitement.
With race action on a temporary street circuit in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, it's the "World's Fastest Spring Break Party". Drivers race at speeds in excess of 170 mph on a 14-turn course through the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, circling the Duke Energy Center for the Arts - Mahaffey Theater, the stunning Dali Museum and then onto the runways of Albert Whitted Airport, all overlooking the picturesque city waterfront.
The race marked the first for the new Verizon IndyCar Series car, which replaced the original chassis introduced in 2003. The event was also the beginning of a new form of competition among engine manufacturers with three different engines, Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus, competing for track leadership.
There's more than just racing action at the Firestone Grand Prix; it's a weekend packed with family friendly fun along the magnificent waterfront. The Festival of States Illuminated Night Parade and Fireworks kicks off the weekend's festivities as race drivers wind through downtown and along the waters edge to celebrate the official start of the race. Fabulous floats light up the streets and fireworks illuminate the night sky. Combined with a night of music and beads, it's a great way to jump-start the weekend.
Friday is packed full of practice sessions, followed by the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K Run, Walk 'N Wheel-a-thon. Participants have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience every curve and straightaway of the track as they run, walk or wheel around the 5k course, just as the Verizon IndyCar drivers do.
Practice and qualifying sessions continue on Saturday and the main event unfolds Sunday. Concerts and air shows take place all morning long leading up to the exciting pre-race ceremonies and the Verizon IndyCar race start, which begins with the traditional drivers’ command to: start the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
For the first time in event history, spectators will have the opportunity to test their racing skills at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Event organizers have announced the debut of a go kart track that will be introduced as part of its entertainment offering, encouraging event-goers to put the pedal to the metal and take part in racing festivities of their own.
In addition to race excitement, this family-friendly event also includes a kids area, complete with a Ferris wheel, clowns, rock climbing, face painting and much more.
Those opting for a luxurious experience with a Monaco-like style can take advantage of the prestigious Yacht Club. Specially built private floating docks let spectators view the race from the comfort of a yacht. The slips provide unprecedented vantage points at turns 10 and 11, located directly alongside the race track.
You don't want to miss this!