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St. Pete race will be debut of new IndyCar in March
For the second consecutive year, the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be the opening race on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.

The event, entering its eighth year, will take place March 23-25 on the scenic streets of downtown St. Petersburg.

It was the first INDYCAR road/street course race in 2005, and it will host the debut of the next-generation car that is currently undergoing testing with St. Petersburg resident and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon behind the wheel.

The IndyCar Safety Cell replaces the current chassis introduced in 2003. The event also will mark the beginning of a new form of competition among engine manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus.

“The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is arguably the region’s most exciting event,” said Tim Ramsberger, vice president and general manager. “In 2012, we’ll be making history and race fans from across the state, country and world are invited to witness these important changes and enjoy action that is sure to come from our weekend schedule.”

In March, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg saw the introduction of double-file restarts to the IZOD IndyCar Series that delivered intensified competition. Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing began defense of his IZOD IndyCar Series championship with a victory.

The event achieved impressive growth with increased ratings – ABC’s broadcast of the race delivered its highest overnight rating other than the Indy 500 since 2007 – along with strong ticket sales and attendance.

Tickets to the 2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will go on sale this fall. To learn more about the event, visit www.gpstpete.com and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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