Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
|Verizon IndyCar Series|
|Location||St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
|First IndyCar race||2005|
|Distance||198 mi (319 km)|
|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)
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (2014-present)
|Most wins (driver)||Hélio Castroneves (3)|
|Most wins (team)||Team Penske (7)|
|Most wins (manufacturer)||Dallara (11) Honda (7)|
|Length||1.8 mi (2.9 km)|
|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.
- 1 History
- 2 Past winners
- 3 Course
- 4 Broadcasting history
- 5 Notes
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. Drive Jim Fitzgerald was killed in a crash during the 1987 race. 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 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.
|Season||Date||Driver||Team||Chassis||Engine||Race Distance||Race Time||Average Speed
|CART World Series history|
|2003||Feb 23||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||Dan Wheldon||Andretti Green Racing||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||2:09:54||83.14||Report|
|2006||April 2||Hélio Castroneves||Team Penske||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||1:56:58||92.34||Report|
|2007||April 1||Hélio Castroneves (2)||Team Penske (2)||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||2:01:07||89.166||Report|
|2008||April 6||Graham Rahal||Newman/Haas Racing||Dallara||Honda||83*||149.4 (240.435)||2:00:44||74.251||Report|
|2009||April 5||Ryan Briscoe||Team Penske (3)||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||2:12:27||81.542||Report|
|2010||March 29*||Will Power||Team Penske (4)||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||2:07:06||84.975||Report|
|2011||March 27||Dario Franchitti||Target Chip Ganassi Racing||Dallara||Honda||100||180 (289.681)||2:01:00||89.26||Report|
|2012||March 25||Hélio Castroneves (3)||Team Penske (5)||Dallara||Chevrolet||100||180 (289.681)||1:59:51||90.113||Report|
|2013||March 24||James Hinchcliffe||Andretti Autosport||Dallara||Chevrolet||110||198 (318.65)||2:22:13||83.539||Report|
|2014||March 30||Will Power (2)||Team Penske (6)||Dallara||Chevrolet||110||198 (318.65)||2:06:58||93.572||Report|
|2015||March 29||Juan Pablo Montoya||Team Penske (7)||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.
Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire
|2005||April 3||Marco Andretti||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2006||April 1||Raphael Matos||Dallara||Infiniti|
|April 2||Raphael Matos||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2007||March 31||Alex Lloyd||Dallara||Infiniti|
|April 1||Alex Lloyd||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2008||April 5||Raphael Matos||Dallara||Infiniti|
|April 6||Richard Antinucci||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2009||April 4||Junior Strous||Dallara||Infiniti|
|April 5||Junior Strous||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2010||March 28||Jean Karl Vernay||Dallara||Infiniti|
|2011||March 27||Josef Newgarden||Dallara||Honda|
|2012||March 24||Tristan Vautier||Dallara||Honda|
|2013||March 23||Jack Hawksworth||Dallara||Honda|
|2014||March 30||Zach Veach||Dallara||Honda|
|2015||March 28||Ed Jones||Dallara||Mazda|
|March 29||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||#1 Audi Sport North America||#6 Penske Racing||#4 Corvette Racing||#62 Risi Competizione||report|
| Rinaldo Capello
| Sascha Maassen
| Oliver Gavin
| Mika Salo
|2008||#2 Audi Sport North America||#7 Penske Racing||#4 Corvette Racing||#71 Tafel Racing||report|
| Marco Werner
| Timo Bernhard
| Olivier Beretta
| Dominik Farnbacher
|2009||#9 Patrón Highcroft Racing||#15 Lowe's Fernández Racing||No entry||#45 Flying Lizard Motorsports||report|
| David Brabham
| Adrian Fernández
|No entry|| Patrick Long
- 1985 Willy T. Ribbs
- 1986 Pete Halsmer
- 1987 Scott Pruett
- 1988 Walter Röhrl
- 1989 Irv Hoerr
- 1990 Chris Kneifel
- 1996 Ron Fellows
- 1997 Tommy Kendall
- 2003 Scott Pruett
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
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.
- Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg's website
- City has had false starts with racing
- St. Petersburg course layouts maps via TheRacingLine.net
- Florida State Fairgrounds course map via TheRacingLine.net
- "St. Petersburg Grand Prix: City has had false starts with racing". St. Petersburg Times. February 21, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2015.
- "Trans-am Driver Killed In Crash During St. Petersburg Event". Sun-Sentinel. 1987-11-09. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- "Veteran driver Fitzgerald dies". Reading Eagle. Reading, PA. November 9, 1987. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- Brassfield, Mike (6 April 2009). "Grand Prix is a winner for St. Petersburg". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Auman, Greg (29 March 2010). "Grand Prix of St. Petersburg postponed until Monday". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Street in St. Petersburg named for Dan Wheldon". AP (Fox News). 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
IndyCar Series races
Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana