The St. Petersburg Grand Prix (a.k.a., Firestone Grand Prix), isn’t just traditionally the beginning of the IndyCar racing season, it’s the premier open-wheel racing championship in the country. And it’s making its way back to the city from March 3-5 this year! This annual motorsports extravaganza is chock-full of exciting events, all culminating in an 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit that roars through the streets of downtown St. Petersburg (including a portion of runway at Whitted Airport), providing a thrilling experience for fans of all ages.
Interested in joining us for the fun? Here’s a closer look at what you can expect when you roll in and check it out.
A Tradition of Racing
The St. Petersburg Grand Prix has been one of the most popular annual events on the Indy Car calendar since its inception in 2005. In that time, it’s earned a reputation for being a must-see for any racing fan, attracting some of the biggest names in motorsports every year. It’s widely known for being a challenging beast, requiring drivers to navigate tight turns and narrow straightaways, and making for an exciting and unpredictable run every time out.
The Grand Prix isn’t just about the big day, though. St. Petersburg’s Grand Prix also features a wide range of family-friendly activities and entertainment for fans to enjoy in the days leading up to the race itself. Visitors can look forward to everything from live music and regional food specialties, to interactive exhibits and meet-and-greets with drivers. Each Grand Prix weekend is also filled with off-track events such as a fan-friendly pit walk, as well as local goings-on inspired by the high-octane energy of the race.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the IndyCar Fan Village, where racing enthusiasts can get up close and personal with their favorite drivers and teams. The Fan Village features a deep range of fun things to see and do (like games, autograph sessions with drivers, and informational displays), giving attendees a shot at experiencing all of the energy and excitement of the race to come in a more relaxed and casual setting.
Get Up to Speed
The St. Petersburg Grand Prix is also a great educational opportunity. In the days leading up to the race, fans are invited to check out some of the newest and most advanced developments in motorsports at several point-of-interest stops in the area. As an official IndyCar event, the Grand Prix emphasizes cutting-edge technology and engineering — featuring everything from sleek and aerodynamic vehicles to advanced engines, fuel delivery methods, and new powertrain systems.
An Amazing Kickoff
As the first official race of the season, the St. Petersburg Grand Prix is instrumental in setting the tone for the rest of the IndyCar schedule. Heading to the event is a great chance for fans to see their favorite drivers and teams in action right at the top of their game. Getting such an early seat for the début of every new series is one of the biggest draws every year, as aficionados can get a feel for what they can expect in the months to come.
TradeWinds Is Your Home Base For the Big Race
Roaring into town for the Grand Prix? TradeWinds Resort is the ideal stay for the big day. Our pair of paradise escapes offers premier accommodations, the best dining in the area, on-site activities and much more, all overlooking one of the country’s best beaches. Also — if you’re headed in from out of town, then you can catch the 100% free SunRunner Shuttle to hitch a ride to all the Grand Prix action! The SunRunner stops right outside our front door, and can take you all the way from the beach to downtown and back.
When you’re ready to start planning your “just let go” Grand Prix getaway, stop by our Special Offers page and check out our amazing St. Pete Beach travel deals. We’re sure you’ll want to race in for an exceptional escape!