The NTT IndyCar Series has announced today that the 2020 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has successfully been rescheduled to Sunday, October 25. The event will serve as the new season-finale, with St. Petersburg having originally supposed to kick-off the season back in March.
March’s originally slated Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was cancelled at the last minute as the sheer severity of COVID-19 became apparent across the globe. Shortly thereafter, planned IndyCar races at Long Beach, the Circuit of the Americas and Barber Motorsports Park were cancelled outright, whilst other events were postponed until later in the year.
Given that the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg takes place on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, many foresaw a logistical nightmare in trying to reschedule the event so that it could still take place this year. Similar difficulties have prevented other street races, such as the Grand Prix of Detroit and Formula 1‘s Monaco Grand Prix and Australian Grand Prix from going ahead in 2020.
However, today’s announcement from the NTT IndyCar Series confirms that the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will, indeed, take place this year. The news comes after the series came to an acceptable arrangement with the race’s organisers and the City of St. Petersburg.
“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,” Mark Miles, Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO, said today. “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.”
St. Petersburg has played host to the season-opening race of the NTT IndyCar Series for every year since the 2011 season. 2020 will mark the first time that the race has ever served as the season-finale for the IndyCar series. After today’s announcement, St. Petersburg’s Mayor, Rick Kriseman, shared his excitement as well as his belief that the event will be able to take place with public health as the main priority.
“The City of St. Petersburg stands ready to welcome back the fans of INDYCAR, drivers, teams and sponsors in October,” said Kriseman. “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.”
Lisa Boggs – director of Motorsports for Bridgestone, the parent company of the event’s sponsor, Firestone – paid tribute to the team behind the scenes of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for their efforts in securing a 2020 race date.
“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,” Boggs said today. “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.”
The full calendar for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series is now confirmed, pending any potential future adjustments should the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect worldwide sporting events.
The season is set to kick-off with the 2020 Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 6. The biggest race of the season, the 2020 Indianapolis 500, will take place on Sunday, August 23.
2020 NTT IndyCar Series Schedule (as of May 13):
|1||Saturday, June 6||Texas Motor Speedway|
|2||Sunday, June 21||Road America|
|3||Saturday, June 27||Richmond Raceway|
|4||Saturday, July 4||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Race 1|
|5||Sunday, July 12||Streets of Toronto|
|6||Friday, July 17||Iowa Speedway Race 1|
|7||Saturday, July 18||Iowa Speedway Race 2|
|8||Sunday, August 9||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course|
|9||Sunday, August 23||Indianapolis 500 Mile Race|
|10||Sunday, August 30||World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway|
|11||Sunday, September 13||Portland International Raceway|
|12||Saturday, September 19||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 1|
|13||Sunday, September 20||WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Race 2|
|14||Saturday, October 3||Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Race 2|
|15||Sunday, October 25||Streets of St. Petersburg|