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2018 Grand Marshal Helio Castroneves to Give Drivers Command to Start Engines

ST PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 9, 2018) – The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is under way, and there are many fan activities on the downtown waterfront site for festival goers to enjoy and experience. Eleven races, five on Saturday and six on Sunday, will take the green flag including the season opening Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday, March 11, with an estimated start time of 12:40 p.m. EDT.

In between the jam-packed racing action are numerous activities for race fans and families. Andersen RacePark based in nearby Palmetto, Fla., has set up a temporary karting track just inside Gate 1 near the Firestone Bridge of the track. This is the site of the Mazda Road to Indy “Beat the Pros” Challenge where professional racers have set down the fastest laps for fans to try to beat. Cost is $10 per session. Fans must be five feet or taller and can be as young as age 14 with a parent present. Proceeds benefit Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

“There is so much for families and race fans to partake in this weekend at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg,” said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, promoters of the 14th annual race held on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg. “It’s great to have three-time race winner Helio Castroneves with us as our grand marshal and to give the command for IndyCar drivers to start their engines to cap it all off on Sunday.”

Chevrolet has a full vehicle display on Albert Whitted Park. This is also the location for the IndyCar Fan Village, with a full lineup of fan entertainment. The SpeedZone, located near Turns 5 and 6 and the Firestone Bridge, is filled with merchandise vendors to pick up the newest racing gear, interactive displays for adults and children including two new exhibits – a mobile museum from WaterVentures known as “Florida’s Learning Lab”, and an activation by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, food vendors and much more. The Budweiser Party Pit is the place to be for a pit-side party - no special ticket needed, and the picturesque floating waterside bar is also another popular stop for adults.

Tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST, Pirelli World Challenge will conduct an autograph session in its race car paddock outside of Turn 1 free to all fans. On Sunday, Moffitt Cancer Center's 'Mole Patrol' will offer free skin screenings.

Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets to the 2018 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are available at the gate. General admission for Saturday is $35 and Sunday is $50. Junior pricing for those fans age 12 and under is $20 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. Parking is encouraged at Tropicana Field, then take the shuttle over to the track.

Complete event information including a festival map can be found at gpstpete.com. Follow the action or post fan updates on social media with #FirestoneGP.


Entering its 14th year, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is run on a 1.8-mile, 14-turn waterfront circuit that includes a combination of adjacent downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, The Dali Museum and extending onto the runways at Albert Whitted Airport, which overlook the Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina. Scout.com’s Stadium Journey named the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as #2 on the list of “Top 100 Stadium Experiences of 2016.”  The event is owned and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which also promotes Honda Indy Toronto (July 13-15, 2018), The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (July 27-29, 2018) and Grand Prix of Portland (August 31-September 2, 2018). 

For more information, visit gpstpete.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page at @GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter @GPSTPETE and Instagram @GPSTPETE using #FirestoneGP.


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