Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
The Race is on!
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race is on! Last month officials from the City of St. Petersburg and Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC (GSSP) announced unanimously approved for spectator attendance at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg set for April 23-25, 2021. The ‘GRAND PRIX’ is back! This time it will be a bit later in spring on April 23-25, 2021. The 17th Annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg features awesome racing action on our downtown streets. It serves as Round 2 of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season schedule as the headliner race on Sunday (April 25).
“This is an important event for our local economy and will again serve to showcase and elevate the Sunshine City on the world stage,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “I am confident that the protocols in place will allow for a safe, fun race weekend in St. Pete.”
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg traditionally kicks off the INDYCAR season. This year it will be the second race on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule since the postponement from the first weekend of March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift to a later April weekend provides the opportunity for more fans to attend.
About Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg:
The 17th annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a race event held during Florida’s spring break season each March. Traditionally the site of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ season-opening race, St. Pete is a destination city hosting this annual motorsports tradition and offering a festival atmosphere with its downtown location.
The temporary circuit is a 1.8-mile, 14-turn configuration using the streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlooks the waterfront of Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is owned and operated by Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC. Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC is owned by Green Savoree Racing Promotions 2, LLC whose other subsidiaries also promote three additional INDYCAR races, The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 2-4, 2021), Honda Indy Toronto (July 9-11, 2021), and Grand Prix of Portland (Sept. 10-12, 2021).
“This is another great day for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, our race fans and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The City of St. Petersburg is always one of the crown jewel stops each season for the entire INDYCAR community,” said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of GSSP, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “We are thankful for the support of Mayor Rick Kriseman, City Council, the City’s entire event team and Pinellas County for putting their faith in us again to operate this event and assisting us with our plan to host it ‘The St. Pete Way’ with the proper precautions in place.”
Competitors, spectators and all associated with the event will be subject to a health screening and temperature check before entry is permitted. All attendees will be required to wear masks or facial coverings at all times unless when eating or drinking with the “No Mask, No Entry” plan. Those who don’t have one will be issued a mask at the entry gates. The CDC’s recommended guideline of at least six feet of social distancing should be maintained while on site. Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations will be prevalent across the venue.
“On behalf of the entire Green Savoree Racing Promotions team, thank you to the staff at Penske Entertainment and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and of course, Mayor Kriseman and his great team at the City, and St. Pete City Council for all their hard work in making this rescheduled date happen,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of GSSP. “We’re looking forward to the last weekend in April for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. And, especially we greatly appreciate the patience of our fans as we work through all the planning. Let’s go!”
Additional event information and customer FAQs will be posted at gpstpete.com shortly. Ticket purchasers on file and also those customers who deferred tickets from the 2020 event will also receive a direct communication on the renewal and ticketing process.
The 100-lap NTT INDYCAR SERIES race will be broadcast live nationally on NBC with coverage beginning at 12 noon ET. Live streaming of all INDYCAR practice and qualifying sessions will be available on Peacock Premium throughout the weekend. For more information, visit gpstpete.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page at @GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter @GPSTPETE and Instagram @GPSTPETE using #FirestoneGP.
History of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg :
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. Residents and businesses complained about noise, and the event was eventually put on hiatus. Driver Jim Fitzgerald was killed in a crash during the 1987 race. 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.
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. St. Petersburg is classified as an FIA Grade Two circuit.
The original 1985 Trans-Am course utilized a similar layout to the course used today. For the first year the track ran out to the pier, made a 180 degree turn and returned.
The temporary circuit is a 1.8-mile, 14-turn configuration using the streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlooks the waterfront of Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina. Six different series featuring 11 different races will take the green flag throughout the weekend including the much-anticipated return of the jumping and high-flying Stadium SUPER Trucks.