Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
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Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg street & airport racing circuit.svg
Verizon IndyCar Series
Location St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
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)
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (2014-present)
Most wins (driver) Hélio Castroneves (3)
Most wins (team) Team Penske (8)
Most wins (manufacturer) Dallara (12) Honda (7)
Circuit information
Surface Asphalt/Concrete
Length 1.8 mi (2.9 km)
Turns 14
Lap record Will Power (1:00.2450, Dallara DW12, 2016, 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 March.

The race takes place on a temporary course, utilizing downtown streets, and two runways of Albert Whitted Airport. The event dates back to 1985, with Indy cars first competing in 2003.

History

The SCCA Trans-Am Series held a race on a St. Petersburg downtown waterfront circuit from 1985 to 1990. Can-Am also competed in 1985. Local residents and businesses complained about noise, and the event was eventually put on hiatus.[1] Driver Jim Fitzgerald was killed in a crash during the 1987 race.[2][3] Racing in the Tampa Bay Area was then moved across town for a couple years. An IMSA race at the Florida State Fairgrounds was held in 1989 and 1990.

From 1996 to 1997, the St. Petersburg race was revived on a different course around Tropicana Field (about one mile west of the original waterfront course). 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 World Series. A new, modified version of the original 1985 waterfront circuit was created.

For 2004, the event was cancelled due to a dispute between the promoters, furthermore, the bankruptcy and liquidation of the CART series into the new Champ Car World Series saw a shakeup of the calendar. 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 American Le Mans Series event.

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

Past winners

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Tires Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
Champ Car World Series history
2003 February 23 Canada Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth Bridgestone 105 189.63 (305.179) 2:04:28 91.401 Report
2004 Not held
Verizon IndyCar Series history
2005 April 3 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 2:09:54 83.14 Report
2006 April 2 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 1:56:58 92.34 Report
2007 April 1 Brazil Hélio Castroneves (2) Team Penske (2) Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:07 89.166 Report
2008 April 6 United States Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dallara Honda Firestone 83* 149.4 (240.435) 2:00:44 74.251 Report
2009 April 5 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske (3) Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 2:12:27 81.542 Report
2010 March 29* Australia Will Power Team Penske (4) Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 2:07:06 84.975 Report
2011 March 27 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 2:01:00 89.26 Report
2012 March 25 Brazil Hélio Castroneves (3) Team Penske (5) Dallara Chevrolet Firestone 100 180 (289.681) 1:59:51 90.113 Report
2013 March 24 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Dallara Chevrolet Firestone 110 198 (318.65) 2:22:13 83.539 Report
2014 March 30 Australia Will Power (2) Team Penske (6) Dallara Chevrolet Firestone 110 198 (318.65) 2:06:58 93.572 Report
2015 March 29 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Team Penske (7) Dallara Chevrolet Firestone 110 198 (318.65) 2:16:58 86.735 Report
2016 March 13 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya (2) Team Penske (8) Dallara Chevrolet Firestone 110 198 (318.65) 2:13:28 89.006 Report
2017 March 12 France Sébastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda Firestone 110 198 (318.65) 2:04:32 95.391 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

Stefan Wilson driving along the Bay Shore Drive Southeast section during the qualifying race of the Indy Lights 2011.

American Le Mans Series

Overall winner in bold.

SCCA Trans-Am

Dan Wheldon memorial plaque located adjacent to the course layout.

Can-Am

  • 1985 Lou Sell

SCCA Super Vee

IMSA (fairgrounds)

Course

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 runways 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

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 crash at the 2011 Izod IndyCar World Championship 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. Petersburg 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 (United States)

Season Channel Lay-by-lap Driver Analyst(s) Pit Reporter(s) Host(s)
2003 Speed Channel Bob Varsha Scott Pruett Derek Daly
Calvin Fish
Tommy Kendall
Scott Pruett
Bob Varsha
2005 ESPN Todd Harris Scott Goodyear
2006 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear
Rusty Wallace
Jack Arute
Jamie Little
Dr. Jerry Punch
Brent Musburger
Rusty Wallace
2007 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jack Arute
Brienne Pedigo
Marty Reid
Scott Goodyear
2008 ESPN Marty Reid Scott Goodyear Jack Arute
Brienne Pedigo
Vince Welch
Marty Reid
Scott Goodyear
2009 Versus Bob Jenkins Jon Beekhuis
Robbie Buhl
Jack Arute
Robbie Floyd
Lindy Thackston
Jack Arute
2010 ABC
ESPN2
Marty Reid Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Rick DeBruhl
Jamie Little
Vince Welch
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Marty Reid
2011 ABC Marty Reid Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Rick DeBruhl
Jamie Little
Vince Welch
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Marty Reid
2012 ABC Marty Reid Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Rick DeBruhl
Jamie Little
Vince Welch
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Marty Reid
2013 NBC Sports Network Leigh Diffey Townsend Bell
Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
Jon Beekhuis
Kevin Lee
Robin Miller
Leigh Diffey
2014 ABC Allen Bestwick Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Rick DeBruhl
Jamie Little
Vince Welch
Allen Bestwick
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
2015 ABC Allen Bestwick Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Jon Beekhuis
Rick DeBruhl
Dr. Jerry Punch
Allen Bestwick
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
2016 ABC Allen Bestwick Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Jon Beekhuis
Rick DeBruhl
Dr. Jerry Punch
Allen Bestwick
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
2017 ABC Allen Bestwick Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
Jon Beekhuis
Rick DeBruhl
Dr. Jerry Punch
Allen Bestwick
Eddie Cheever
Scott Goodyear
  • 2010: Race was originally scheduled for ABC, but after being postponed a day it was moved to ESPN2.

Notes

Works cited

Related links

References


Preceded by
-
IndyCar Series
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Succeeded by
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Honda_Grand_Prix_of_St._Petersburg
 



 

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