ST. PETERSBURG, F’la. (WFLA) — Crowds flocked to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday as the gates opened.
The event was moved back again this year due to COVID-19.
There are a number of changes to this year’s race due to COVID-19. Fans are expected to wear masks, practice social distancing and take advantage of the hand sanitizing stations set up along the track.
Attendance will be limited to 20,000 fans per day.
“This is my first time visiting a street race, so it’s super exciting. I’m glad to be in Florida. It’s really cool to see all the cars,” said Bridgette Phillips, who traveled from Colorado to see her brother race. “He’s number 24 and right now he’s in the lead for the rookie of the year so we’re super excited to be here to support him.”
First-time fans were excited to be able to attend, and in awe of the backdrop of the city and water views.
“It’s pretty neat because the race in Monaco you get the same idea with the boats and everything in the background. It’s just a beautiful background for it, backdrop,” said Wayne Davis of Palm Harbor.
“I’ve never seen anything like this here. I’ve seen drag races and that sort of thing and certainly nothing with a marina in the background, and the beautiful, this is just perfect,” said Barb Davis.
On Saturday, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman helped celebrate the 2020 Winner’s Plaque Installation and Dedication. The 2019 and 2020 winner, Josef Newgarden helped install the plaque from last year’s Firestone Grand Prix victory.