Greetings from the Sunshine State!
The very Sunshine City: St. Petersburg, Florida where I’m volunteering my first Grand Prix of St. Pete.
What a fantastic opportunity to flag another street course. I really missed the closeness of the action you get at city courses like this, and this trip didn’t disappoint. I was paired with an awesome partner who right off the bat offered to let me stay on blue flag for as much as I wanted to, so I was in the top mood for the entire weekend. We spent three and a half days trackside, first half being on Thursday working in the afternoon for the PWC test session (much reduced field from last week’s appearance at COTA), but it was a lot of fun!
For the duration of the rest of the weekend we were stationed at 9R which is a mirror station for Turn 9 located driver’s right half way between Turn 8 and 9. Lots of visibility of action at Turn 8, quite a few cars went into the run off, a bunch crashed into the tire wall, and a few brushed the wall as they passed by us. It kept us busy.
St. Pete is probably my favourite city in Florida right now edging out Ft. Lauderdale and even Miami Beach. I would love to move here.
Weather was great. Company was great. Racing was a bit amateur but also pretty great. No complaints from me.
Oh yeah, there were IndyCars on track too…
First half day on track working Turn 2, which has the exit to pit lane right under our noses. With the track being so green we got pelted by sand and asphalt as the cars entered track and picked up all that debris towards us.
For a moment I thought I may not make the opportunity to go trackside because my 7 hour trip from Columbia, South Carolina turned into an 8.5 hour ride. But luckily PWC was running behind schedule which was just fine by me.
The view from 9R looking towards Turn 8.
Big thanks to Dave Green from CFR SCCA for this professional shot, check out his web site www.flagtoflagphotography.com
The only opportunity we had to see some cars in the paddock was on the first half day when there was delay in getting marshals to stations, luckily we pulled in thru the support paddock where we saw a few of these USF2000 cars getting shuttled around.
Of course I was most interested in the PWC GT cars, and there were some beautiful models on display getting ready to start their session.
The shuttle bus ride along the track gave me an opportunity to snap some shots. It looked pretty tight and challenging which resulted in some messy races over the weekend. But I’m a big fan of this setup.
Oh yeah, and the front straight is an actual airport runway… cool!
I’m surprised I haven’t done this event before, with the experience from this weekend I would love to come back again.