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