Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

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Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg street & airport racing circuit.svg
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
Corporate sponsor Firestone
First race 1985
First IndyCar race 2005
Distance 198 mi (319 km)
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 1.8 mi (2.9 km)
Turns 14
Lap record Sébastien Bourdais (1:00.928, Lola B02/00-Ford Cosworth, 2003, Champ Car)

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a Verizon IndyCar Series race held in St. Petersburg, Florida.

History[edit]

The SCCA Trans-Am Series held an automobile 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. 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.

In 2003, the event was revived again, initially as a Champ Car event in 2003 utilizing a modified version of the original 1985–90 waterfront circuit.

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.

Organizers announced during 2008 race that Andretti Green Promotions, the organization that owns and operates the event, signed a contract extension with the city of St. Petersburg through 2013, and city officials hope to extend it through 2014.[1]

On October 18, 2013, Honda announced it would no longer be the title sponsor of the race.

On November 20, 2013, Firestone was announced that they will be title sponsor of the race with a multi year contract.[2]

Past winners[edit]

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
CART World Series history
2003 Feb 23 Canada 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 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:09:54 83.14 Report
2006 April 2 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 1:56:58 92.34 Report
2007 April 1 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:07 89.166 Report
2008 April 6 United States Graham Rahal Newman/Haas Racing Dallara Honda 83* 149.4 (240.435) 2:00:44 74.251 Report
2009 April 5 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:12:27 81.542 Report
2010 March 29* Australia Will Power Team Penske Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:07:06 84.975 Report
2011 March 27 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Target Chip
Ganassi Racing
Dallara Honda 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:00 89.26 Report
2012 March 25 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 100 180 (289.681) 1:59:51 90.113 Report
2013 March 24 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Dallara Chevrolet 110 198 (318.65) 2:22:13 83.539 Report
2014 March 30 Australia Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 110 198 (318.65) 2:06:58 93.572 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.[3]

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire[edit]

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 United States Marco Andretti Dallara Infiniti
2006 April 1 (1st race) Brazil Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
April 2 (2nd race) Brazil Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
2007 March 31 (1st race) United Kingdom Alex Lloyd Dallara Infiniti
April 1 (2nd race) United Kingdom Alex Lloyd Dallara Infiniti
2008 April 5 (1st race) Brazil Raphael Matos Dallara Infiniti
April 6 (2nd race) United States Richard Antinucci Dallara Infiniti
2009 April 4 (1st race) Netherlands Junior Strous Dallara Infiniti
April 5 (2nd race) Netherlands Junior Strous Dallara Infiniti
2010 March 28 France Jean Karl Vernay Dallara Infiniti
2011 March 27 United States Josef Newgarden Dallara Honda
2012 March 24 France Tristan Vautier Dallara Honda
2013 March 23 United Kingdom Jack Hawksworth Dallara Honda
2014 March 30 United States Zach Veach Dallara Honda

American Le Mans Series[edit]

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 United States #1 Audi Sport North America United States #6 Penske Racing United States #4 Corvette Racing United States #62 Risi Competizione report
Italy Rinaldo Capello
United Kingdom Allan McNish
Germany Sascha Maassen
Australia Ryan Briscoe
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Finland Mika Salo
Brazil Jaime Melo
2008 United States #2 Audi Sport North America United States #7 Penske Racing United States #4 Corvette Racing United States #71 Tafel Racing report
Germany Marco Werner
Germany Lucas Luhr
Germany Timo Bernhard
France Romain Dumas
Monaco Olivier Beretta
United Kingdom Oliver Gavin
Germany Dominik Farnbacher
Germany Dirk Müller
2009 United States #9 Patrón Highcroft Racing Mexico #15 Lowe's Fernández Racing No entry United States #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports report
Australia David Brabham
United States Scott Sharp
Mexico Adrian Fernández
Mexico Luis Díaz
No entry United States Patrick Long
Germany Jörg Bergmeister

SCCA Trans-Am[edit]

IMSA (fairgrounds)[edit]

Course[edit]

The section of the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg that curves through the Progress Energy Park 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 Progress Energy Park.

First bayfront course[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Helio Castroneves rounding corner 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 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.[4]

Broadcasting history[edit]

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 NBC Sports 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[edit]

Works cited[edit]

Related links[edit]

References[edit]


Preceded by
-
Current
IndyCar Series races
Succeeded by
Grand Prix of Long Beach