The transformation of city streets to a racetrack is underway in St. Petersburg, as the track build for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg started Monday, March 29.
Crews began to move concrete barriers and erect safety fencing and temporary grandstands in a process that’s expected to take 25 days to complete (with time factored in for weather delays), leading into the race weekend April 23-25 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Approximately 250 workers will contribute to the effort.
Some interesting facts about the construction of the 1.8-mile street circuit that also includes a runway from Albert Whitted Airport:
Concrete: 18,000 feet (3.4 miles) of steel-reinforced concrete block (each 12 feet long) resulting in 20 million pounds of concrete being moved and 1,500 blocks placed into position, with four concrete blocks per load. Flatbed trailers carry 375 loads of blocks for the project.
Fencing: 22,000 feet (4.17 miles) of chain-link spectator fencing lining the track; 18,000 feet (3.4 miles) of panel fencing (1,500 total panels) securing the steel-reinforced concrete barrier blocks
Tire Wall: More than 12,000 tires are used to build the track’s tire wall safety system
Bridges: Five spectator bridges into the infield
Grandstands: Seven grandstands
Paddocks: Six paddocks for different racing series
Two-time race winner Sebastien Bourdais of AJ Foyt Racing, a St. Petersburg resident, promoted the race with media interviews and social media activity as the track build started Monday.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the second event on the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season calendar. The opener is the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst on Sunday, April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park.