Track Talk: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a 14-turn road course, 1.8 mile in length, and is considered a temporary circuit. Looking at the main track, it runs partially on a runway, as well as passing by the waterfront. The track is constructed around Progress Energy Park and Mahaffey Theatre and encompasses portions of the picturesque Bayshore Drive. The main straightaway uses runway 7/25 at Albert Whitted Municipal Airport. Turn one funnels down from a 6 car wide runway to a one and a half car wide turn 2 which links to turn 3. After turn 4, there are some very tight corners, but after turn 9 it opens up again.
St Pete has everything from the very narrow tight sections similar to parts of Monaco up to blindingly fast chicanes and kinks. The wicked back straight left hand kink will be close to flat out this year and is taken at over 130 mph with concrete walls from entry to exit leaving zero room for error and no room for more than one car.
Multiple surface changes, surface crowning and huge paint stripes have given engineers fits as far as car set up and will do so again this year.
For more info on attending this race, check out www.gpstpete.com