(Saint Petersburg, Florida) We have windy, cloudy weather over Tampa Bay, where sailboats and powerboats abound, even on a Friday. This is a day of race car and truck practices for six race series, on a 1.8-mile track that winds through downtown and uses an airport runway. Canadian James Hinchcliffe was fastest in this morning’s Verizon IndyCar Series practice for Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix race. He said that his team had done its homework in the off-season and is “starting off on the right foot.” He said that this is the first street race circuit that the series has been on since Houston last Autumn. Like other racers, Hinch said this is “pretty smooth for a street circuit.”
Year after year drivers say that they doesn’t mind the bumpiness of the city streets and runway, and likes the venue as a whole. Perhaps some of them are contrasting this with Sebring International Raceway, on which they races two weeks ago and IndyCar Series drivers tested earlier. Saint Petersburg was the site of Hinch’s first IndyCar series victory a year ago. The Mayor of Hinchtown is campaigning for reelection on Sunday with a promising practice session in his Andretti Autosport Dallara-Honda.