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VICS: FAST FACTS – Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Track: 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit (clockwise)

Race distance: 110 laps / 198 miles

Entry List:  Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (PDF)

Push-to-pass parameters: 10 activations for 15 seconds each

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, three sets alternate

Twitter: @GPSTPETE, @IndyCar, #FirestoneGP, #IndyCar

Event website: www.gpstpete.com

INDYCAR website: www.IndyCar.com

2014 race winner: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car) 

2014 Verizon P1 Award winner: Takuma Sato (No. 14 ABC Supply A.J. Foyt Racing car) … 1 minute, 01.8668 seconds (104.738 mph) in Firestone Fast Six

Qualifying lap record: Sebastien Bourdais on Feb. 22, 2003 (1:00.928; 106.710 mph)

ABC race broadcast: Sunday, March 29 (3 p.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ESPN on ABC broadcasts for the second consecutive year alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Video Streaming: All practice sessions for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season will be available on the INDYCAR YouTube channel www.youtube.com/indycar andRaceControl.IndyCar.com . Qualifying for races telecast by ABC will also be available via live streaming.

Radio broadcasts: Paul Page is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the IMS Radio Network, Sirius 213, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com  and on the INDYCAR 15 app.

Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying is broadcast on Sirius 213, XM 209,   IndyCar.comindycarradio.com and the INDYCAR 15 app. Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions plus Indy Lights practice and qualifying are on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com, and the INDYCAR 15 app.

At-track schedule (all times local): 

Friday, March 27 (Promoter Day) 

12:30-1:45 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice) 

4:15-5:30 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice)

Saturday, March 28

12:30-1:15 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series practice) 

4:15 p.m. (Three rounds of qualifications)

Sunday, March 29

12-12:30 p.m. (Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up) 

3 p.m. ABC on air

3:37 p.m. Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg green flag

Race Notes:

* The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg marks the competition debut of aerodynamic bodywork kits designed, manufactured and supplied by Chevrolet and Honda. Cars will be differentiated by their shape on the street course as the manufacturers have designed separate aero kit specifications for road and street course/short ovals and speedways for the Dallara IR-12 chassis. References to the cars will incorporate the name of the corresponding manufacturer.

* Aero kit competition complements the fourth year of engine manufacturer competition between Chevrolet and Honda with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines. It will be another season testing speed and durability to determine the Manufacturer Champion.

* Five drivers will make their first start at St. Petersburg – Stefano Coletti, Sage Karam, Gabby Chaves, Luca Filippi and Francesco Dracone. The first three are Sunoco Rookie of the Year award candidates. Filippi has competed in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races and makes his debut with CFH Racing. Chaves was the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion, while Karam, who be the youngest driver to start an Indy car for Chip Ganassi Racing, won the 2013 title. Dracone competed in two races in 2010.

* Will Power, who had earned consecutive poles at St. Petersburg in 2010-13, won the 2014 season opener at St. Petersburg after qualifying fourth. He went on to win his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship. Power also won the race in 2010. Team Penske has won the pole position in five out of the last eight Grand Prix of St. Petersburg races.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 234th consecutive race, which would extend his Indy car-record streak that began in 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 175 consecutive starts.

* Dixon, the longest-tenured driver for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, is tied with Bobby Unser for fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 35. He has three runner-up finishes at St. Petersburg but has not won.

* Helio Castroneves, who has won the race in  2006, 2007 and 2012, has been the Verizon IndyCar Series championship runner-up the past two seasons. Castroneves finished third at St. Petersburg in 2014.

* Simona de Silvestro, who made 65 starts over four Verizon IndyCar Series seasons, returns to the series in an Andretti Autosport Honda after a year absence to pursue a Formula One career. 

* There were a record-tying 11 different winners in the 18 races of 2014, and equally tight competition is projected for the 2015 season.

* With six victories in 11 races at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Team Penske is the winningest team in the history of the Verizon IndyCar Series. Three different Team Penske drivers have visited Victory Lane at St. Petersburg. Helio Castroneves has won three times at the venue (2006, 2007, 2012, more than any other driver), while Will Power has two St. Pete wins to his credit (2010 and last season). Ryan Briscoe opened the 2009 season with a victory for Team Penske. Chip Ganassi Racing has won four of the last 10 Verizon IndyCar Series openers (Homestead: 2006, 2007, 2008; St. Pete: 2011).

The 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the 12th Indy car race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. Paul Tracy won the inaugural race on Feb. 23, 2003, under CART sanction. Sebastien Bourdais, entered in this year’s race, started from the pole. On March 21, Bourdais co-drove to the overall victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring. He is a St. Petersburg resident. 

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