Even though the race is more than a month away preparations began Sunday for the 10th annual Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Just after 7 a.m. crews began laying down the first phase of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn road course. Firestone is the official sponsor of the 2014 event.
Drivers will navigate the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg from Bayshore Dr. to 1st Ave. South to Albert Whitted Park. Motorists, pedestrians and residents can expect race-related street closures and detours until at least the second week of April.
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Albert Whitted Park is now closed to motorized and foot traffic and will remain closed until mid-April.
To ensure safety, race officials and St. Petersburg Police urge everyone to observe posted signage warning against entering closed construction sites.
Several businesses/attractions will remain open and accessible to employees during the first phase of track construction.
Beginning Monday, March 24, parking lots at the Mahaffey Theater and Dali will close, tentatively reopening on April 3.
Dali Museum parking will relocate to the Dolphin lot from March 24-26 and March 31-April 2 with complimentary shuttle transportation.
Mayor Rick Kriseman and the St. Petersburg Chamber are urging residents and business owners to Embrace the Race’ and spread a little sunshine by showing visitors some speedy Southern hospitality.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off the 18-race IndyCar Series. The event begins on March 28th and runs through the 30th. More than 100,000 racing enthusiasts are expected to visit the area during the event.