Saturday Morning at St. Petersburg

Good morning once again from the sunny and warm Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg! As much of a buzz as there was for a Friday morning practice yesterday, there is even more of a buzz this morning.

I’ve mentioned earlier that I’ve never been to a street course before. One thing I find interesting is how they integrate existing facilities and turn them into a working race track for the weekend.

For example, the some of the paddock is located in the complete lower level of an enclosed parking garage. While it is cool and out of the sun, it is very dark to walk through just as an observer. I would thin the darkness would make any detailed tweaking on the cars a difficult task.

The media center is the second floor of the Mahaffey Theater, located in what looks like a hotel ballroom. The view overlooks the area between Turns Nine and Ten. The yacht club in the background does not provide an ugly backdrop.


As much as the whole area inside the track has a festival feel, it’s hard to imagine that it’s not permanent. In fact, they’ll start tearing everything down immediately after the event is complete.

Susan will have a post up here after practice this morning (which starts at 10:25 EST, just moments away as I type). Then I’ll have a wrap-up after qualifying, which starts at 2:30 EST and will air live on NBCSN.

Please follow us on Twitter for photos, videos and comments throughout the day and weekend. Follow me at @Oilpressureblog and Susan at @MrsOilpressure. Please check back later for Susan’s midday post and my post-qualifying post today.

George Phillips

One Response to “Saturday Morning at St. Petersburg”

  1. Talón de Brea Says:

    Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Oilpressure, for the “You Are There” account of your St. Pete trip. Great way to vicariously experience the opening weekend of the season. Glad you two spring breakers are enjoying your first street circuit and the locale.

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