2016 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Saturday only

Thought I would share my amazing experience going to the GP of St. Pete just over a week ago.

Gorgeous Penske Garage. Not pictured; Helio Castreneves riding up on a scooter about two feet from me.
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My spring break was a trip to Florida for a few days with my family. My first day there consisted entirely of driving from Orlando to the race with my father and brother-in-law.

I recently subscribed to Motor Trend on Demand (completely worth it), and got hooked on the Pirelli World Challenge. I honestly haven’t been this excited about a racing series since V10-era Formula 1. Massive variety of cars, great drivers, and wonderful competition kept me watching every race.

Luckily, as a support series for IndyCar, it would be at the GP and I’d get to see GT race 1 and GTS race 2. Along with US F2000, Pro Mazda, Indy Lights, Stadium Super Trucks (!!!), and of course IndyCar itself.

PWC GT: Great race, no yellow flags or big wrecks (JD Davison lost the wing on his GTR), Alvarro Perente and the K-Pax McLaren made a great performance as my favorite team, coming in 2nd, with Michael Lewis in the Effort racing 991 Porsche leading him, and Johnny O’Connell following in the Cadillac Racing ATS-V.R

US F2000, Pro Mazda, and Indy Lights: I’ll sum up the open wheel cars with one word: LOUD. I don’t really follow any of the series, but it was really cool to watch.

IndyCar: While all we got to see was Practice #3 and qualifying, it was still extremely cool. Video was shot during Practice.

Stadium Super Trucks: Possibly the funniest shit I’ve ever seen on a racetrack. It’s like they deliberately created a racing series to make people laugh their asses off. There wasn’t a time with more people on the fence watching than during their race. Luckily we found a spot right behind one of the jumps in order to get the best view.

Jack Roush Jrs Boss 302

PWC GTS: The most exciting race of the day by far. As a Ford guy myself, watching the relatively old Boss 302Ss of Kohr Motorsports and Roush hold their own to keep the lead was extremely exciting. The KTM X-Bow GT4 was hot on their tail and made for some absolutely great racing. While the KTM/Mustang fight kept me on my toes, 15-year-old Parker Chase in a Ginetta GT4 absolutely stole the show. Late-brake passes into turn 10 where we were watching him pass on almost a lap-by-lap basis. his hardest competitor was the Camaro driven by Lawson Aschenbach, but after a few attempts and a couple tire lock-ups he made the pass. When he finally got the pass, our group, and those around us, started cheering wildly for the British Ford V6-powered coupe. In the end, Jack Roush Jr. took the win (after Nate Stacy broke his steering while in the lead), followed by Brett Sandberg in a KTM, and third taken by Chase. What a race. No video as I was too busy being glued to the race.

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We also bought paddock passes for the ultimate up-close experience with the cars and teams. I personally got to chat with some of the guys at Kohr, which was really nice. I took many, many pictures but whittled them down to the best few. They were all taken by my phone as I’m not quite the full camera expert. Enjoy nonetheless!

Andretti Pits
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I wish I had a DSLR to do this picture justice
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Realtime Racing doing alignment and balancing on the TLX GT. Although the car isn’t very competitive, i applaud Acura for at least submitting a car to race and not giving up on motorsport.
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This team of Bentleys is actually run by a team out of Asia GT.
Some odd track-day special found in the paddock
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The GranTurismo GT4s sound AMAZING
Scrutineering after the PWC GT race
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I love the K-Pax McLaren 650S
Massive brakes on a Vantage GT4
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Kohr Motorsports had a “Spare” Boss 302 next to their garage, they donated its bumper to stacy’s car.

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