Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Florida

St Petersburg, Florida anxiously awaits for the IndyCar Racing Fans March 10-17, 2017!!

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is among the most respected and exciting motorsports events in North America and features a festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities.

Dubbed the “World’s Fastest Spring Break Party,” the race takes place every spring on a challenging temporary street circuit overlooking the scenic waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg. Racing at speeds in excess of 170 mph on the 14-turn, 1.8 mile street course, the drivers circle the Mahaffey Theater and The Dali Museum, then proceed to the runways of Albert Whitted Airport.

The race is part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel racing series in the United States and Canada. Launched in 2003, the race marked the advent of a new form of competition among engine manufacturers by having three different engines, which now features Honda, Chevrolet and Mazda to compete for track leadership.

But the Firestone Grand Prix offers so much more than cars and speed; it’s packed with family-friendly fun. The free Fast Friday event in North Straub Park filled with live music, kids build-a-racecar tent, food trucks and more will kick off the weekend’s festivities. To add fuel to the good times, free movies in the Park featuring racing-themed films will take place each night on the north wall of the Museum of Fine arts.

Friday is chock full of practice sessions, followed by the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K foot race. Participants get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience every curve and straightaway of the track as they run, walk, or wheel around waterfront race course.

Practice and qualifying sessions continue on Saturday and the main event, the Verizon IndyCar race, unfolds on Sunday.

Spectators also have the opportunity to test their own racing skills at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with racing simulators and a Fan Zone that encourages event-goers to put the pedal to the metal.

Those opting for a luxurious experience with Monaco-like style can take advantage of the prestigious Yacht Club. Specialty built private floating docks let spectators view the race from the comfort of a yacht. The slips provide unprecedented vantage pints at turns 10 and 11, located directly alongside the race track. I am looking forward to doing just that next year with my family. We are huge race fans of the Andretti Team. I am lucky to know them personally and their family. My stepson Eric Nikles went to school with Marco Andretti and his sister Amber Carrick are very close friends. So I have the privilege of not only participating in this exciting event, but knowing the great Andretti family.

See you at the races!