Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will run as scheduled, but it won’t have any spectators due to the threat of the coronavirus.
After announcing Thursday morning there will be no general admission tickets sold for IndyCar’s 2020 season-opener, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman confirmed Thursday afternoon that the weekend will be condensed from three days to two, with only crew members, media and necessary race personnel permitted inside the street course.
“IndyCar and Green Savoree Racing Promotions, in conjunction with the city of St. Petersburg, announced Thursday that all activities surrounding Sunday’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will be closed to spectators and limited to essential personnel only,” read a statement issued by the series.
“This protocol is being put in place to protect the health and welfare of the fans, drivers, teams, workers and officials, as we mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The race weekend will operate from Friday through Sunday, with IndyCar on-track sessions limited to Saturday and Sunday. The activities also include Road To Indy, IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup, and SRO Motorsports Group America on a condensed schedule. A press release with full details, including a revised schedule, will be issued with additional details later today.”
On the heels of the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons, college conferences cancelling their basketball tournaments, NASCAR racing behind closed doors at Atlanta this weekend, and the cancellations and postponements related to IMSA and the WEC’s previously-scheduled double-header at Sebring next week, IndyCar officials met with city government and health officials before deciding to carry on with the St Pete event.
The Players golf championship is also continuing in Ponte Vedra, Fla. but without spectators.
This story has been updated to include the statement issued by IndyCar