Rescheduled St. Pete race becomes IndyCar finale
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, originally the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season-opener, has today been confirmed as the finale, set for Oct. 25.
The new date, confirmed today by officials from IndyCar, Green Savoree St. Petersburg, LLC (GSSP) and the City of St. Petersburg, means this will be the 16th consecutive year that an IndyCar event will take place on the streets of the Tampa Bay Area city.
The original event, to be held on Sunday, March 15, was postponed at the last minute due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The streets of St. Petersburg will make for a fitting and action-packed finale in a venue and city that our entire IndyCar community holds dear," said Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles.
"We extend our thanks and gratitude to Mayor Kriseman, Green Savoree and Firestone for working with us to find a new date for the event. It's going to be a fantastic weekend of Indycar action, and I know our drivers will have race day in St. Pete circled on their calendars."
Mayor Kriseman added: "The City of St. Petersburg stands ready to welcome back the fans of IndyCar, drivers, teams and sponsors in October. I want to thank our partners at Green Savoree Racing Promotions for believing in this race and giving the residents of the Sunshine City something to look forward to.
“I am confident that the race will occur in a manner that puts public health at the forefront."
Said Lisa Boggs, director of motorsports, Bridgestone Americas, parent company of event sponsor Firestone: "We greatly appreciate the efforts of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, IndyCar, Mayor Kriseman and the City of St. Petersburg to find a new date for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“Coming back to the streets of St. Pete to close the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season is a great way to thank the incredible fans in this area for their support. While we couldn't kick off the season with them as planned, we now look forward to crowning the 2020 IndyCar champion together in October."
Previously purchased tickets to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be valid on the corresponding days of the postponed event. Ticket purchasers on file will receive instructions via email. Additional event information and customer FAQs will be posted at gpstpete.com.
"Having a rescheduled date for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a very positive development," said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of GSSP, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. "This could only happen because of our partners' commitment and support at City of St. Petersburg, IndyCar and Firestone.
“We hope this offers both Floridians and our race fans something to look forward to later this year as we navigate through these unprecedented times for us all."
It means that, so far the only race casualties of the coronavirus pandemic have been the events at Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach, Circuit of The Americas and the Belle Isle, Detroit double-header. Thanks to Iowa becoming a double-header and IndyCar slotting an extra race at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis into October, the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series currently still contains 15 rounds.
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