INDYCAR announces condensed schedule for St. Petersburg season opener

INDIANAPOLIS (March 12, 2020) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will be closed to spectators and limited to essential personnel only, will have several modifications with a condensed two-day schedule of activities.

The revised schedule will eliminate Friday’s on-track action, which consisted of two 45-minute practice sessions, and open Saturday for two practice sessions and NTT P1 Award qualifying.

The following is Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule:

  • Garage opens, 7 a.m.
  • Practice #1, 9:45-10:30 a.m. ET (moved from original time of 10:45 a.m. Friday)
  • Practice #2, 1:30-2:30 p.m. (moved from 3 p.m. Friday)
  • NTT P1 Award qualifying, featuring three rounds of knockout qualifications, 4:45 p.m. (previously scheduled earlier at 2:40 p.m.)

Live coverage of all practice and qualifying sessions will be on NBC Sports Gold. Qualifying also will be aired tape delayed at 10 p.m. on NBCSN.

Sunday’s schedule remains unchanged:

  • Garage opens, 7:30 a.m.
  • Warm-Up, 10:25-10:55 a.m. (NBC Gold)
  • Driver Intros, 2:53 p.m.
  • Command, 3:23 p.m.
  • Green flag, 3:30 p.m.

The live coverage on NBCSN begins at 2:30 p.m. with the pre-race show, followed by the green flag for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (100 laps/180 miles) on NBCSN (live).

“INDYCAR loves to present great sport and competition and there is no place we enjoy more than St. Petersburg to open our season,” INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles said. “However, the priority had to be the health and safety of our fans, drivers, teams, officials and workers. We worked through all the possible options with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, his administration and race promoter Green Savoree and we came to the best possible conclusion given all the circumstances, in particular when our teams indicated they still wanted to race.

“We are aware of the number of fans that gathered in St. Petersburg for the race weekend, but we are hopeful they trust and understand that the move was made with their health and welfare in mind as the sports world looks to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic from a global perspective.”

To further protect the health and welfare of those taking part in the weekend activities, INDYCAR is setting up a screening area at the venue entry point to gain access.

Due to the fluidity of the situation, more modifications may be forthcoming and will be announced at the appropriate time.