A Grand Prix Evening – Celebrating 20 Years of Champions event announced

On the evening of Friday, March 8, past INDYCAR SERIES race winners, series and race officials, St. Petersburg community leaders, Mayor Ken Welch and past mayors, and race fans will gather to commemorate two decades of success for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. The event named “A Grand Prix Evening – Celebrating 20 Years of Champions” takes place from 7-10 p.m. ET at the Duke Energy Center for Arts (Mahaffey Theater). 

A limited quantity of tickets is now available to the public at gpstpete.com/gpevening, priced at $250 per person, to join with these local leaders and motorsports dignitaries. All proceeds will benefit four designated local St. Petersburg youth organizations and programs: Pinellas Technical College, Youth Sports, Cultured Books Literacy Foundation and AKA Akademy.

“For 20 years, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg has proven to be a vital partner for our city, leaving a lasting impact on St. Petersburg far beyond the exhilarating race weekend,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. “I’m delighted that they have chosen to make meaningful contributions to four local organizations focused on youth and education initiatives. This substantial donation is not just a one-time gesture; it is an investment that will continue to benefit the youth of the St. Pete community for years to come.”

The evening will celebrate 20 years of racing and community champions for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding and serves as a kickoff party for the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, beginning shortly after the opening day of racing action concludes. This fundraising event is a collaboration between the NTT INDYCAR SERIES along with Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, co-owners of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the annual motorsports tradition on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg since the inaugural event in 2005. 

“Kevin (Savoree) and I are very proud and honored to promote the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding and be a part of this community for so long,” said Green. “The race has come a long way over the past 19-plus years, and this special celebration will be a great way to recognize the drivers, community leaders, series officials and fans who have made it possible. We also look forward to raising money for four outstanding local charities and programs aimed at creating growth opportunities for the young people in the St. Pete community.” 

The evening will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres, including seafood selections, specially crafted local cocktails and beverages, a live commemorative art creation themed around the race’s history from internationally acclaimed fine artist Bill Patterson, music from a DJ and other features. Many of the 13 past Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winners plan to attend the event. At this time, the list includes defending winner Marcus Ericsson and his new Andretti Global teammate Colton Herta; Team Penske drivers Scott McLaughlin, Josef Newgarden and Will Power; two-time winner and St. Petersburg’s own Sébastien Bourdais; and Susie Wheldon, attending in honor of her late husband Dan Wheldon.

A Grand Prix Evening: Celebrating 20 Years of Champions will also recognize the local leaders who have been integral to the growth and success of the race event over the past two decades. Current Mayor of St. Petersburg Ken Welch and former mayors of the “Sunshine City” Rick Baker, Bill Foster, and Rick Kriseman will also be in attendance.  

“The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding is an exceptional season opener for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and sets the stage for a thrilling year ahead,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “St. Pete provides a picturesque backdrop with its scenic, palm tree-lined streets and waterfront views along with a challenging track design, which showcases the intense wheel-to-wheel action of our sport. We are proud to join Green Savoree Racing Promotions to celebrate 20 terrific years, along with Mayor Welch, community leaders, past race winners and race fans. It’s an ideal way to kick off the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship.”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES has a proud history of competing on the temporary waterfront street course in downtown St. Petersburg. The inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2005 was won by the local resident Wheldon, an eventual two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and the 2005 series champion. Over the past two decades, the annual St. Petersburg race has become a marquee event on the INDYCAR calendar, serving as the series’ season-opening event 14 times, including this year’s edition. 

A Grand Prix Evening – Celebrating 20 Years of Champions will be a highlight of an action-packed race weekend schedule that also features the free community INDYCAR Party in the Park in North Straub Park on Thursday, March 8; the 5K Run on the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Track on Thursday, March 8 (register at gpstpete5k.com); a live concert from legendary rock artist Bret Michaels at the track on Saturday, March 9; and high-speed racing from five different series headlined by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ season-opening race on Sunday, March 10.

For additional ticket prices, the event schedule and festival information, visit gpstpete.com. Follow Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on social media using @gpstpete and #FirestoneGP for the latest updates. Joining the E-Club also provides insider access to the latest news and offers.