Downtown St. Pete Gears up for Honda Grand Prix

ABC to broadcast live Sunday; Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan highlight star-studded field

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (March 23, 2011) - The "World's Fastest Spring Break Party" tears into town as Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan and IndyCar's finest return for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 25-27.

With sizzling hot action on and off the track, huge crowds are expected to flock to St. Pete's palm-dappled bayfront, where world-class museums, sidewalk cafes and luxury yachts moored just feet from the action provide a Monaco-like setting for one of the racing world's most exciting and anticipated contests. 

The celebration begins tomorrow at 7pm when the illuminated Festival of States Parade---a fan-favorite since 1969---winds its way through downtown's Central Avenue. A stunning fireworks display and a party in North Straub Park featuring the Grand Prix drivers will immediately follow. 

Beginning Friday, speed enthusiasts can witness a variety of racing circuits qualifying and competing on the streets of St. Petersburg, including the IZOD IndyCar Series. St. Pete's 1.8-mile-long, 14-turn track starts on runway 7/25 at the Albert Whitted Airport, twists and turns through downtown, then hugs the waterfront on Bay Shore Drive.

ESPN on ABC will broadcast Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series race live at 12:30pm.

But street racing isn't the only attraction you'll find at the event. The weekend will also feature a 5K race, gala, autograph session, air show, drifting demonstrations, interactive displays, racing simulations and other family-friendly entertainment.

This year's schedule is as follows: 

Thursday, March 24

7:00pm - Festival of States Parade / Fireworks

Friday, March 25

8:05 - 8:35am - World Challenge practice
8:55 - 9:15am - USF2000 practice
9:20 - 10:00am - Star Mazda practice
10:15 - 11:15am - IZOD IndyCar Series practice
11:35 - 12:05pm - World Challenge practice
12:15 - 12:35pm - Drifting cars on-track
12:45 - 1:05pm - USF2000 practice
1:00 - 2:00pm - INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group A)
1:10 - 1:45pm - Star Mazda practice
2:00 - 2:45pm - Firestone Indy Lights practice
2:45 - 3:00pm - Air Show - Jump Team
3:00 - 4:00pm - IZOD IndyCar Series practice
4:00 - 4:20pm - Air Show - Helicopter
4:20 - 4:50pm - USF2000 qualifying
4:50 - 5:10pm - Air Show - Stunt Plane
5:10 - 6:00pm - World Challenge qualifying
6:00 - 9:00pm - Welcome Party, by invitation only
6:15pm - HGPSP 5K with Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation

Saturday, March 26

8:05 - 8:50am - Star Mazda qualifying
9:10 - 9:55am - Firestone Indy Lights practice
10:10 - 11:10am - IZOD IndyCar Series practice
11:00am - 12:00pm - Road to Indy driver autograph session, Bright House Speed Zone
11:20 - 11:40am - Drifting cars on-track
11:50am - 1:05pm - ACURA Sports Car Challenge, World Challenge race #1
12:30 - 1:30pm - INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group B)
1:25 - 2:10pm - Firestone Indy Lights qualifying
2:10 - 2:30pm - Air Show - Jump Team
2:30 - 3:50pm - IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying & Firestone Fast Six
3:50 - 4:10pm - Air Show - Helicopter
4:10 - 5:10pm - Star Mazda race
4:45 - 5:45pm - INDYCAR driver autograph session (Group C)
5:10 - 5:20pm - Air Show - Stunt Plane
5:20 - 6:00pm - USF2000 race #1

Sunday, March 27

8:05 - 8:20am - Firestone Indy Lights warm-up
8:40 - 9:10am - IZOD IndyCar Series warm-up
9:20 - 9:50am - Drifting cars on-track
10:25 - 10:35pm - Air Show - Helicopter
10:30 - 11:45am - Firestone Indy Lights race
11:55 - 12:05pm - Air Show - Stunt Plane
12:00 - 12:30pm - IZOD IndyCar Series pre-race ceremonies
12:30 - 3:00pm - IZOD IndyCar Series race, Honda Indy St. Pete
3:00 - 3:30pm - IZOD IndyCar Series post-race ceremonies
3:30 - 4:10pm - USF2000 race #2
4:15 - 4:30pm - Air Show - Jump Team
4:30 - 5:45pm - ACURA Sports Car Challenge, World Challenge race #2

For more information on the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, visit http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/articles/indycar-racing-irl-downtow...

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

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For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall: Josh@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7223

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