“The off-track entertainment is as big as the actual racing, making for a bigger and better event each year," said Tim Ramsberger, Vice President and General Manager of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “From driver appearances to interactive activities, charitable causes and racing, we hope this event will to set the bar high as the season begins."
Honda, INDYCAR and local organizations have all come together to support the event, offering a variety of activities in the city of St. Petersburg.
9:30 a.m., Thursday, March 24 – Racing For Kids (All Children’s Hospital)
The annual Racing For Kids event will take place at All Children’s Hospital on Thursday, March 24. Racing For Kids representatives, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson and Star Mazda driver Connor De Phillippi will spend time, take pictures and sign autographs for the children at the hospital.
7 p.m., Thursday, March 24 – Festival of States Parade (Downtown St. Petersburg)
Check out drivers and cars as they parade down the streets of downtown St. Petersburg in front of fans, followed by a firework display to start the weekend that will open the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
6:15 p.m., Friday, March 25 – Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 5K (Downtown St. Petersburg)
The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation and All Children’s Hospital are set to host the second annual Racing to Recovery 5K Run, Walk and Wheelathon at Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
6 p.m., Friday, March 25 – Welcome Party (Tickets required – Trackside Club)
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg welcomes drivers and teams to the City of St. Petersburg with the Official Welcome Party to start off race weekend.
Friday, March 25 to Sunday, March 27 – Red Bull Air Show
The Red Bull Air Show plans to wow fans each day as it makes its return to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this year. The show will feature stunt aircraft, stunt helicopter and a sky diving team. The jump team shows will take place on Friday from 2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday from 2:10 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday from 4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Helicopter shows will take place on Friday from 4 p.m. to 4:20 p.m., on Saturday from 3:50 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. and on Sunday from 10:25 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. To complete the show, stunt plane demonstrations will take place on Friday from 4:50 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., on Saturday from 5:10 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:55 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
Friday, March 25 to Sunday, March 27 – Budweiser Clydesdales
The Budweiser Clydesdales, some of the most famous Clydesdales, will make their trip around the St. Petersburg waterfront and will be on display by Grandstand 2 throughout race weekend.
Friday, March 25 to Sunday, March 27 – Bright House Speed Zone
The Bright House Speed Zone offers fast fun for the whole family, featuring interactive simulators, driver autograph sessions, a cafe area provided by Lundy’s Catering and games from Bright House.
Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 – Autograph Sessions
Fans will get the chance to meet their favorite drivers on Friday and Saturday of race weekend. Friday’s autograph session will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bright House Speed Zone. In addition, Saturday will feature two autograph sessions at the INDYCAR Fan Village. The first session takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and the last from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Details are available at www.gpstpete.com.
Sunday, March 27 during pre-race activities – SOCOM Parachute Team
The U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team, known as the Para-Commandos, are scheduled to perform a free fall parachute demonstration during pre-race activities between 12 noon and 1 p.m. The team is comprised of active duty military or Department of Defense civilians assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Sunday, March 27 – T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team
The T-28 Warbird Aerobatic Formation Demonstration Team will take to the skies of St. Petersburg on Sunday noon during the national anthem at approximately 12:30 pm. The 16-member team consists of former military pilots, decorated veterans, instructors, airline pilots and experienced civilian air show pilots.
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg returns to the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, March 25-27, 2011, marking the start of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season and the beginning of a new era of open-wheel racing in North America with the Mazda Road to Indy giving young drivers a clear path all the way from karting to the Indy 500.
Tickets to the 2011 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which takes place March 25-27, can be purchased through the event’s website at www.gpstpete.com or by phone at 1-877-283-5385.