SPM Pre-Race Notes & Quotes: St Pete

Race Fast Facts

  • Verizon IndyCar Series drivers: James Hinchcliffe (No. 5 Arrow Electronics), Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7 SMP Racing)
  • Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers: RC Enerson (No. 7), Andre Negrao (No. 17), Santiago Urrutia (No. 55), Scott Anderson & Heamin Choi (No. 77)
  • Event title: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
  • Location: Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Track: 11-turn, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit
  • 2016 event counter: The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is the 1st race (of 16) for the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the 1st and 2nd races (of 18) for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires

Verizon IndyCar Series

  • Practice sessions: Friday, March 11 from 10:50 a.m.-12:05 p.m. ET and 3:40-4:55 p.m.; Saturday, March 12 from 11:55 a.m.-12:40 p.m.
  • Qualifying: Saturday, March 12 from 3:40-4:55 p.m. ET
  • Race: Sunday, March 12 with pre-race activities beginning at approximately 12 p.m. ET and an estimated green flag at 12:52 p.m.

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires

  • Practice sessions: Friday, March 11 from 8:50-9:20 a.m. ET and 2:10-2:40 p.m.
  • Qualifying: Saturday, March 12 from 7:55-8:25 a.m. ET
  • Race 1: Saturday, March 12 – green flag estimated at 12:55 p.m. ET
  • Race 2: Sunday, March 13 – green flag estimated at 9:45 a.m.

Broadcast Information

  • TV race broadcast (USA): ABC
  • Race broadcast (radio): IMS Radio Network, XM 209 and Sirius 212

IndyCar Quotes:

James Hinchcliffe (No. 5)

“This is probably the most excited I’ve ever been for the start of a season. I’m sure that’s not a surprise to anyone, but ten months out of competition is a long time! St. Pete has always been one of my favourite events and this year will be even more special. The team has worked so hard over the offseason, Honda has worked so hard, I’ve worked hard, Arrow is back, there are just so many reasons why this is an exciting weekend for us. I’ve got a lot of friends and family coming out so fingers crossed we can give them something to cheer for!”

Mikhail Aleshin (No. 7)

“I’m super exited to be back to IndyCar, driving the No. 7 SMP Racing car again with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. It’s an amazing feeling! I like the track at St. Petersburg and will do my best to score some good points to start the season strong.”

Indy Lights Quotes:

RC Enerson (No. 7)

“St. Pete is my home race, which makes the entire event very special to me. Pre-season testing went really well for us and I’m looking forward to a great result in both races so that we can make our mark early in the championship battle.”

Santiago Urrutia (No. 55)

“The pre-season has been long. Now I’m ready for my first Indy Lights race and pretty excited to race in St. Pete.”

Scott Anderson (No. 77)

“This off-season was the least time I’ve spent in a racecar for my entire career, so I’m extremely eager to get back at it. If I can apply what I learned from last year and start from there, we can be very competitive.

“I’ve always liked St. Pete, it’s an awesome atmosphere to kick off the season. It looks like we’ll have a very talented field so it should make for some great racing.”

Team Social Media

Twitter: @SPMindycar

Instagram: @SPMindycar

Facebook: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

SnapChat: @SPMindycar

Periscope: @SPMindycar

Driver Social Media

James Hinchcliffe

Website –

Twitter – @hinchtown & @HinchOnTrack

Facebook – Hinchtown

Instagram – @hinchtown

Mikhail Aleshin

Twitter – @MikhailAleshin

Facebook – Mikhail Aleshin

RC Enerson

Website –

Twitter – @RCenerson

Facebook – RC Enerson Racing

Instagram – @RCenerson

Santiago Urrutia

Website –

Twitter – @Santi_Urrutia

Facebook – Santiago Urrutia Oficial

Andre Negrao

Website –

Twitter – @NegraoAndre

Facebook – Andre.Negrao

Instagram – @anegrao

Scott Anderson

Website –

Twitter – @ScottDKAnderson

Facebook – Official Scott Anderson Racing

Instagram – @scanders01

Heamin Choi

Website –

Twitter – @HeaminChoi

Instagram – @HeaminChoi

Facebook – HeaminChoi

Fan Opportunities

  • Verizon IndyCar Series autograph session with James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin: Saturday, March 12 from 1:55-2:40 p.m. ET in the INDYCAR Fan Village.
  • Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires autograph session with RC Enerson, Santiago Urrutia, Andre Negrao and Scott Anderson: Saturday, March 12 from 3:00-3:30 p.m. ET in the INDYCAR Fan Village.

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