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Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
250px
Verizon IndyCar Series
Location

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
27°45′59″N 82°37′45″W / 27.76639°N 82.62917°W / 27.76639; -82.62917Coordinates: 27°45′59″N 82°37′45″W / 27.76639°N 82.62917°W / 27.76639; -82.62917{{#coordinates:27|45|59|N|82|37|45|W|region:US-FL_type:landmark |primary |name=

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Corporate sponsor Firestone
First race 1985
First IndyCar race 2005
Distance Script error: No such module "convert".
Laps 110
Previous names St. Petersburg Grand Prix (1985-1990)
Kash n' Karry Florida Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (1996-1997)
Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (2005–2013)
Most wins (driver) Hélio Castroneves (3)
Most wins (team) Team Penske (6)
Most wins (manufacturer) Dallara (7) Honda (6)
Circuit information
Surface Asphalt/Concrete
Length Script error: No such module "convert".
Turns 14
Lap record Will Power (1:00.6509, Dallara DW12, 2015, Verizon Indycar Series)

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a Verizon IndyCar Series race held in St. Petersburg, Florida. Since 2009, the race has served as the season opener, with the exception of 2010, when it was the second race of the season (but the first on U.S. soil). The race is held annually in the spring, currently in late March, coinciding with spring break.

History

The SCCA Trans-Am Series held a race on a St. Petersburg downtown waterfront circuit from 1985 to 1990. Local residents and businesses complained about noise, and the event was put on hiatus.[1] Drive Jim Fitzgerald was killed in a crash during the 1987 race.[2][3] Racing in the Tampa Bay Area also included an IMSA race at the Florida State Fairgrounds from 1989–1990.

In 1996-1997, the St. Petersburg race was revived on a course around Tropicana Field. Along with the Trans-Am Series, support races included U.S. FF2000, World Challenge, Pro SRF, and Barber Dodge. The event subsequently went again on hiatus for several years.[1]

In 2003, the event was revived again for the Champ Car series. A new, modified version of the original 1985–90 waterfront circuit was created.

For 2004, the event was cancelled due to a dispute between the promoters. When the race returned in 2005, it switched to the IndyCar Series, marking the first non-oval event for the Indy Racing League. In 2007, the race weekend was expanded to include an ALMS event.

Andretti Green Promotions took over promotion of the event.[4] Starting in 2014, Firestone took over as title sponsor.[5]


Past winners

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
CART World Series history
2003 Feb 23 23x15px Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 105 189.63 (305.179) 2:04:28 91.401 Report
Verizon IndyCar Series history
2005 April 3 23x15px Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:09:54 83.14 Report
2006 April 2 23x15px Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 1:56:58 92.34 Report
2007 April 1 23x15px Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:07 89.166 Report
2008 April 6 23x15px Graham Rahal Newman/Haas Racing Dallara Honda 83* 149.4 (240.435) 2:00:44 74.251 Report
2009 April 5 23x15px Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:12:27 81.542 Report
2010 March 29* 23x15px Will Power Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:07:06 84.975 Report
2011 March 27 23x15px Dario Franchitti Target Chip
Ganassi Racing
Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:00 89.26 Report
2012 March 25 23x15px Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 100 180 (289.681) 1:59:51 90.113 Report
2013 March 24 23x15px James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Dallara Chevrolet 110 198 (318.65) 2:22:13 83.539 Report
2014 March 30 23x15px Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 110 198 (318.65) 2:06:58 93.572 Report
2015 March 29 23x15px Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 110 198 (318.65) 2:16:58 86.735 Report
  • 2008: Race shortened as a result of inclement weather at the start forcing the race to start on Lap 10 after nine Safety Car laps. Shortened by ESPN under time limit.
  • 2010: Race postponed from March 28 due to inclement weather.[6]

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire

File:2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.jpg
Stefan Wilson driving along the Bay Shore Drive SE section during the qualifying race of the Indy Lights 2011.
Season Date Winning Driver Chassis Engine
2005 April 3 23x15px Marco Andretti Dallara Infiniti
2006 April 1 23x15px Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
April 2 23x15px Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
2007 March 31 23x15px Alex Lloyd Dallara Infiniti
April 1 23x15px Alex Lloyd Dallara Infiniti
2008 April 5 23x15px Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
April 6 23x15px Richard Antinucci Dallara Infiniti
2009 April 4 23x15px Junior Strous Dallara Infiniti
April 5 23x15px Junior Strous Dallara Infiniti
2010 March 28 23x15px Jean Karl Vernay Dallara Infiniti
2011 March 27 23x15px Josef Newgarden Dallara Honda
2012 March 24 23x15px Tristan Vautier Dallara Honda
2013 March 23 23x15px Jack Hawksworth Dallara Honda
2014 March 30 23x15px Zach Veach Dallara Honda
2015 March 28 23x15px Ed Jones Dallara Mazda
March 29 23x15px Ed Jones Dallara Mazda

American Le Mans Series

Overall winner in bold.

Season LMP1 Winning Team LMP2 Winning Team GT1 Winning Team GT2 Winning Team Report
LMP1 Winning Drivers LMP2 Winning Drivers GT1 Winning Drivers GT2 Winning Drivers
2007 23x15px #1 Audi Sport North America 23x15px #6 Penske Racing 23x15px #4 Corvette Racing 23x15px #62 Risi Competizione report
23x15px Rinaldo Capello
23x15px Allan McNish
23x15px Sascha Maassen
23x15px Ryan Briscoe
23x15px Oliver Gavin
23x15px Olivier Beretta
23x15px Mika Salo
23x15px Jaime Melo
2008 23x15px #2 Audi Sport North America 23x15px #7 Penske Racing 23x15px #4 Corvette Racing 23x15px #71 Tafel Racing report
23x15px Marco Werner
23x15px Lucas Luhr
23x15px Timo Bernhard
23x15px Romain Dumas
23x15px Olivier Beretta
23x15px Oliver Gavin
23x15px Dominik Farnbacher
23x15px Dirk Müller
2009 23x15px #9 Patrón Highcroft Racing 23x15px #15 Lowe's Fernández Racing No entry 23x15px #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports report
23x15px David Brabham
23x15px Scott Sharp
23x15px Adrian Fernández
23x15px Luis Díaz
No entry 23x15px Patrick Long
23x15px Jörg Bergmeister

SCCA Trans-Am

IMSA (fairgrounds)

Course

File:2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Progress Energy Corners.jpg
The section of the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that curves through the Al Lang Stadium parking lot

The Streets of St. Petersburg course is a street circuit connecting existing roads with one of the two landing strips of Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida. It also dips into the parking lot at Al Lang Stadium.

First bayfront course

The original 1985 Trans-Am course utilized a similar layout to the course used today. For the first year the track actually ran out to the pier, made a 180 degree turn and returned. At the end of Bayshore Drive, rather than diverting off to the airport runways, the course circled around 5th Avenue Southeast around Bayfront Arena, and the start/finish line was located just south of the paddock (the parking lot of Bayfront Arena). In addition, the old course traveled further up Beach Drive Northeast, all the way to 5th Avenue Northeast. 5th Ave. NE was a very narrow segment. The course came south down Bayshore Drive Northeast, and passed by The Pier.

Tropicana Field course

The second course at Tropicana Field was located about a mile west of the waterfront location. The circuit used the roads around the perimeter of the parking lot of the stadium.

Second Bayfront course

File:2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Helio Castroneves final lap.JPG
Helio Castroneves approaches Dan Wheldon Way (Turn 10) on the final lap of the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

When the course was reconfigured, the northbound segment turned at Central Avenue instead, and did not go as far as The Pier. The pits and main straight were moved to the airport, and a purpose-built paddock area was paved next to the runway. The Albert Whitted Park was reconfigured/relocated, and the entire course layout was repaved.

The pits and paddock areas, as well as link from Dan Wheldon Way to the airport runway (turns 11, 12, and 13) were constructed specifically for the circuit in 2003, and are considered permanent features of the otherwise temporary circuit.

After the 2011 IndyCar Las Vegas crash that killed Snell Isle resident Dan Wheldon, who won the 2005 race and two Indianapolis 500 titles, the straight following Turn 10 (the turn from Bayshore Drive to Albert Whitted Park) was renamed "Dan Wheldon Way" in his memory. The sign and commemorative plaque was unveiled by St. Pete mayor Bill Foster on March 6, 2012. A permanent Dan Wheldon Memorial is located next to the Dali Museum on the opposite side of Turn 10, where race winners have their names placed on the memorial.[7]

Broadcasting history

Season Date US TV Channel Lay-by-lap Driver Analyst(s) Pit Reporters
2003 February 23 SPEED Bob Varsha Tommy Kendall Calvin Fish, Scott Pruett, Derek Daly
2005 April 3 ESPN Todd Harris Scott Goodyear Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little
2006 April 2 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear & Rusty Wallace Jack Arute, Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little
2007 April 1 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
2008 April 6 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo
2009 April 5 Versus Bob Jenkins Jon Beekhuis & Robbie Buhl Jack Arute, Robbie Floyd, Lindy Thackston
2010 March 28 ABC (Sun.) Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jamie Little, Vince Welch, Rick DeBruhl
March 29 ESPN2 (Mon.)
2011 March 28 ABC Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jamie Little, Vince Welch, Rick DeBruhl
2012 March 25 ABC Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jamie Little, Vince Welch, Rick DeBruhl
2013 March 24 NBCSN Leigh Diffey Wally Dallenbach & Townsend Bell Kevin Lee, Robbie Floyd, Jon Beekhuis, Robin Miller
2014 March 30 ABC Allen Bestwick Scott Goodyear & Eddie Cheever Jamie Little, Vince Welch, Rick DeBruhl

Notes

Works cited

Related links

References

  1. ^ a b "St. Petersburg Grand Prix: City has had false starts with racing". St. Petersburg Times. February 21, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Trans-am Driver Killed In Crash During St. Petersburg Event". Sun-Sentinel. 1987-11-09. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  3. ^ "Veteran driver Fitzgerald dies". Reading Eagle. Reading, PA. November 9, 1987. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  4. ^ Brassfield, Mike (6 April 2009). "Grand Prix is a winner for St. Petersburg". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.indycar.com/News/2013/11/11-20-Firestone-to-sponsor-St-Petersburg-season-opener
  6. ^ Auman, Greg (29 March 2010). "Grand Prix of St. Petersburg postponed until Monday". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 13 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Street in St. Petersburg named for Dan Wheldon". AP (Fox News). 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 


Preceded by
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Current
IndyCar Series races
Succeeded by
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana