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Grand Prix expected to drive race enthusiasts to St. Petersburg

Posted at 11:26 AM, Mar 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 02:24:22-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It is race day in St. Petersburg.

Twenty-four Indy race cars will take to the track on the streets of St. Petersburg for the annual Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. It is the largest number of racing cars in the St. Pete race since 2013. 

The west coast Florida city with a bustling nightlife is at the center of the international racing spotlight today.

The streets of downtown St. Pete have been transformed into a 1.8-mile, 14-turn (5 lefts, 9 rights) racetrack with a great waterfront view. Even a section of the runway at Albert Whitted Airport will be used for the race. 

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports newcomer Robert Wickens sits in the top pole position to lead the race when the flag drops at 12:30 p.m. today.

Wickens won the honor in a qualifying session on a rainy track Saturday.

The young gun will not be alone among the new breed of racers among the leaders. A contingent of rookies claimed three of the four top spots for Sunday's Indy race.

Sunday's events begin at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Sunday will feature the main event, the 110 lap, Green Flag Verizon Indy Car Series race. That race will be broadcast on ABC beginning at 12:30 p.m.

A map of the track can be found here.


Tickets are available online or at the gate for single day tickets or paddock passes. Three-day passes start at $55 for general admission and single day tickets vary depending on the day. Reserved grandstand seats are also available for purchase. 



  • First St. from First Ave. N. to Sixth Ave. S. 
  • First Ave. S. from First St. to Bayshore
  • Beach Dr. from Central Ave. to First Ave. S.
  • Bayshore Dr. SE from Central Ave. to Dali Blvd. (Fifth Ave. S.)

Limited access:

  • Second Ave. S. from First to Second Streets
  • Bayshore Dr. SE, from Second Ave. NE to Central Ave.
  • First St. S. from Fifth Ave. S. (Dali Blvd.) to Eighth Ave. S.
  • Sixth Ave. S. from First to Second Streets


  • Downtown Parking - Parking at Sundial (enter from Second St. between First and Second Aves. N.) or South Core (enter from First Ave. S. mid-block between First and Second Streets) will cost $5 on Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Beach Drive parking lots, located off of Second Ave. NE to the east of Bayshore Dr., offer $5 parking Friday, March 10, and $10 parking Saturday and Sunday.
  • The USF-St. Petersburg parking garage and selected lots offer the closest proximity to Gate 5 with parking available Saturday and Sunday in designated areas for $20 per vehicle. Private lots, garages and on-street parking will also be available. Motorists are encouraged to observe all posted parking regulations to avoid parking citations or vehicle relocation.