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Date ArticleType
3/7/2016 Member News
It’s race week in St. Petersburg!

It’s race week in St. Petersburg!

Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg waves the green flag for 12th edition

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 7, 2016 – Race week has finally arrived and organizers of the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which takes place this weekend, are ready for the green flag to fly with a week full of activities.

 

Here’s a glimpse into some the events and media activities taking place this week:

 

Wednesday, March 9, 1 to 2 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay visits Lakewood High School (1400 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Before competing in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend, Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay will visit Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg for a “Career Day” talk with senior students to discuss careers in motorsport, safe driving practices and the importance of stellar safety gear in racing.

Contact: Morgan Roush | (419) 631-8052 | morgan@torchiacom.com

 

Thursday, March 10, 10 a.m. – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg flag raising at City Hall (175 5th Street, northeast lawn of City Hall at the corner of 5TH Street and 2nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Mayor Rick Kriseman will host a flag raising ceremony, with special guest Sebastien Bourdais, Verizon IndyCar Series driver and local St. Pete resident. Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, owners of the Firestone Grand Prix, will also participate in the ceremony, held on the northwest lawn of City Hall, 175 5th Street N.

Contact: Robert Danielson | (727) 893-7465 | robert.danielson@stpete.org

 

Thursday, March 10, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Green Flag VIP Brunch (Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, Palm Court Ballroom, 7th Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Get to know the drivers competing in the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg at the Green Flag VIP Brunch. Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Will Power, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves and Spencer Pigot along with drivers from Pirelli World Challenge, Stadium Super Trucks and rising stars from the Mazda Road to Indy will join representatives from the Firestone Grand Prix, Firestone, City of St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce. Media interviews available.

To RSVP: Kathleen Stelmach | (647) 830-0354 | kathleen@torchiacom.com

 

Thursday, March 10, 12:30 p.m. check in, rides begin at 12:50 p.m. – Pirelli World Challenge on-track media rides (at the Firestone Grand Prix track, media are to check in at Pit Out)

How about a real ride in a real race car at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg? Pirelli World Challenge is giving rides Thursday (March 10) to media members in some of the wildest sports cars in the world from 12:50 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. over streets of St. Petersburg in preparation for this weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Rounds 3 and 4 come to the Tampa Bay area as North America’s top GT production racing series battles on March 11-13 with some 45 cars.

Contact: Dave Drimmie | (416) 835-6601 | worldchallengevision@gmail.com  or Tom Blattler | 317-525-5692 | tomblattler@earthlink.net

 

Thursday, March 10, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Meet-and-Eat with Graham Rahal (Steak ‘n Shake, 8101 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Street North, St. Petersburg, Fla.)

The No. 15 driver and winner of the 2008 Firestone Grand Prix, Graham Rahal, is hitting the streets of St. Pete in the official Steak ‘n Shake Food Truck for a meet-and-eat with racing fans. The event will feature autographs and photo ops with Rahal and the No. 15 show car display, a DJ, giveaways, as well as a sampling of the driver’s signature milkshake – chocolate mixed with M&Ms.

Contact: Danny Kerth | (314) 570-0090 | danny.kerth@fleishman.com

 

Friday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. – Fast Friday Community Party (North Straub Park, downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.)

To get the Grand Prix weekend off to a speedy start, everyone is invited to embrace the race with live music, a kids' build-a-racecar arts-and-crafts tent, food trucks and family fun at the free Fast Friday festivities in North Straub Park on Friday, March 11. The party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K in North Straub Park. Following the race and awards ceremony, a free Movies on the Lawn event will begin at 7:30 p.m., with family favorite Cars (G). Join us again on Saturday night for cult classic The Cannonball Run (PG). The movies will be shown on the north wall of the Museum of Fine Arts in North Straub Park.

Contact: Robert Danielson | (727) 893-7465 | robert.danielson@stpete.org

 

Friday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. – Firestone Grand Prix 5K presented by Modern Business Associates and benefiting All Children’s Hospital (North Straub Park, downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Tampa Bay-area race fans will have the opportunity to participate in a race of their own during the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Proceeds raised from the 5K will benefit All Children’s Hospital. Awards ceremony and after party for the 5K will take place at Fast Friday. To register, visit: http://bit.ly/1Qs5kpy

Contact: Kathleen Stelmach | (647) 830-0354 | kathleen@torchiacom.com

 

Story Lines for the Mazda Road to Indy, availabilities with INDYCAR drivers of tomorrow in Indy Lights

 

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champions in the Verizon IndyCar Series

- Four Indy Lights champions are confirmed in the starting lineups for next week’s Verizon IndyCar Series race: Spencer Pigot (2015), Josef Newgarden (2011), Scott Dixon (2000) and Tony Kanaan (1997). 

 

Local Talent

- New Port Richey’s RC Enerson enters his second Indy Lights season as a contender for the title. The 19-year-old Schmidt Peterson Racing driver topped the speed charts in the recent test at Phoenix International Raceway.  Enerson finished fourth in the championship last year and is a race winner at St. Pete, having earned a Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda victory here in 2014.

 

Returning veterans look toward the title

- Carlin’s Ed Jones and Felix Serralles return to the series with their eyes on the title. Jones, 21, from Dubai, finished third in 2015 with three wins – including a sweep of the opening duo at St. Pete. Serralles, 23, from Puerto Rico, finished sixth in the final standings, with a victory on the oval at Milwaukee.

 

Talented Rookies

- Felix Rosenqvist is the reigning FIA European Formula 3 champion. The 24-year-old Swede teams with Veach at Belardi Auto Racing.

- Andretti Autosport's Dean Stoneman, 25, won the 2010 FIA Formula 2 Championship, but was sidelined for a year following a diagnosis of testicular cancer. The young Brit finished second in the 2014 FIA GP3 Series and contested the final three rounds of the 2015 FIA GP3 Series.

- Brazil's André Negrão, 23, one of four Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian drivers, contested the 2014 and 2015 GP2 Series for Arden Motorsports.

- Uruguay's Santi Urrutia, 19, driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/Curb-Agajanian, won the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Mazda scholarship into Indy Lights last season, with three wins and 10 total podiums. 

Contact: Diane Swintal | (949) 439-7871 | dswintal@roadtoindy.net

 

About the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Now in its 12th 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. The event is owned and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions.

 

To learn more about the event, visit gpstpete.com, ‘like’ its Facebook page at facebook.com/GPSTPETE or follow the event on Twitter @GPSTPETE #FirestoneGP.

 

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Media Information:

Kathleen Stelmach

Torchia Communications

647-830-0354 (mobile)

kathleen@torchiacom.com