ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Racing a souped up Maserati at 140 miles an hour on the Firestone Grand Prix track in St. Petersburg is a test of concentration. “A mistake here is more costly and everything is heightened a little bit here,” said Jeff Courtney, a driver for the Pirelli World Challenge team.
Courtney said this course is especially fun because of its location. “It’s a very cool area. We’re on the water. You’re racing past yachts and things like that. It’s very cool,” he said.
The car Courtney drives looks like one you could buy – if a Maserati was in your budget. But his has been modified to race.
Courtney said he’s had a few crack ups and suffered broken bones here and there. “Otherwise, you’re not pushing it hard enough, but no, here, we run a little more cautiously than we normally would because lack of runoff area,” he said.
On the St. Petersburg course, stacks of tires are placed to lesson a crash. “It’s a concrete alley. There’s concrete walls on both sides. It’s a little tighter and it’s an actual street so there’s a lot of imperfections,” Courtney said.
From the driver’s point of view, the world ahead becomes a blur, with walls that come at you that you swear you’re about to hit.
The Maserati is a GTS racer. There are other classes of cars racing this weekend, including Indy cars and Indy lights.
Practice begins at 7:30 in the morning. Events are happening all weekend.
WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:
- Code for pedophiles ends up on children’s toys sold at Monster Jam
- Robbers point gun at toddler, enraged Florida grandmother goes on attack
- Polk deputies charge five men in gruesome murder case
- Attractive felon is ready to model
- Only on 8: Dozens overdose, several die after using ‘super spice’
- Imposter scam spreading on phones and computers around Tampa Bay area
- Police: 5 dead, 3 injured after Pa. backyard party ambushed
- Padi sparks more controversy after biting service dog