NBC, Grand Prix Speed into St. Pete this Weekend

IndyCar Series race to be broadcast live to a national audience on Sunday

Thursday, March 21, 2013

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (March 21, 2013) - Featuring unique first-time racing events and Sunday's IZOD IndyCar Series season opener, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg tears into town this weekend with sizzling action on and off the track.

Huge crowds are expected to flock to what's been dubbed the 'World's Fastest Spring Break Party,' along St. Pete's palm-dappled bayfront. 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 contests. 

The celebration kicked off Thursday afternoon with the Green Flag VIP Luncheon and will continue through the Official IndyCar Driver After Party once the race has ended at Cassis in downtown St. Pete.

But first, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a number of new festivities, including Historic Sportscar Racing, where cars of all ages compete, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also debuting this year are a custom go-kart track located in the Bright House Networks Speed Zone at Gate 1 and the Air Boss Air Show, which takes to the sky midday on both Saturday and Sunday. And for the first time, The Dali Museum, which sits on the infield of the 1.8-mile-long track in downtown St. Pete, is offering $10 admission to race-goers, a savings of more than 50 percent. Combined with Friday's Grand Prix tickets being discounted to $10, visitors can enjoy the state-of-the-art museum and experience world-class racing for less than the regular museum admission alone.

Of course, throughout the weekend, speed enthusiasts can witness a variety of racing circuits qualifying and competing on the streets of St. Pete, including the Indy Cars. St. Pete's 14-turn track starts on runway 7/25 at the Albert Whitted Airport, twists and turns through downtown, then hugs the waterfront on Bayshore Drive.

NBC is broadcasting from St. Pete three times this weekend, the first being Saturday's IndyCar qualifying at 2:30 p.m. A tape-delayed Firestone Indy Lights race kicks off Sunday's coverage at 11 a.m. with NBC going live from St. Pete at noon before the race's 12:30 p.m. start.
Follow along all the action on Twitter with @VSPC and #GPSTPETE.

This year's schedule is as follows:

Friday, March 22
8-8:30 a.m. | USF2000 Practice
8:35-9:05 a.m. | Pro Mazda Practice
9:25-9:55 a.m. | Pirelli World Challenge Practice
10:10-10:55 a.m. | Firestone Indy Lights Practice
11:10-11:55 a.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Pratice
12:10-12:40 p.m. | Historic Sportscar Racing
12:55-1:25 p.m. | Pirelli World Challenge Practice
1:40-2:25 p.m. | Firestone Indy Lights Practice 
2:40-3:25 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Pratice
3:40-4:10 p.m. | USF2000 Practice
4:25-4:55 p.m. | Pro Mazda Practice
5:10-5:55 a.m. | Pirelli World Challenge Qualifying
6:15 p.m. | 5K Run, Walk 'N Wheel-a-thon
7 p.m. | Festival of States Parade

Saturday, March 23
8-8:30 a.m. | USF2000 Qualifying
8:35-9:05 a.m. | Pro Mazda Qualifying
9:25-10:10 a.m. | Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying
10-10:30 a.m. | Pro Mazda/USF2000 autograph session at Fan Village
10:25-11:10 a.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Pratice
11:25-11:55 a.m. | Historic Sportscar Racing
11:30 a.m.-Noon | Indy Lights autograph session at Fan Village
12:15-12:55 p.m. | USF2000 Race #1
1:10-1:50 p.m. | Pro Mazda Race #1
2:05-3:15 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying (LIVE ON NBC)
3:40-4:40 p.m. | Firestone Indy Lights 45-lap race (TAPE-DELAY ON NBC AT 11 a.m. Sunday) 
4:15-5:15 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series autograph session at Fan Village
5-6 p.m. | Pirelli World Challenge Race #1

Sunday, March 24
8-8:35 a.m. | Indy Experience
8:45-9:15 a.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Warm-up
9:30-10:10 a.m. | USF2000 Race #2
10:25-11:25 a.m. | Pirelli World Challenge Race #2
11:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Pre-race
Noon-3 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series 110-lap race (LIVE ON NBC)
2:45-3:30 p.m. | IZOD IndyCar Series Post-race
3-3:40 p.m. | Pro Mazda Race #2
4-4:30 p.m. | Historic Sportscar Racing

VSPC is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida. 

For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com