St. Petersburg, Florida -- The Honda Grand Prix is no more. This year's race along the downtown waters will be named the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and it's another chance for a local driver to win his hometown race.
"If I do win that race it would be a great achievement. It holds a very special place in your heart when it's where you live," said St. Pete's own Sebastien Bourdais during a media appearance to promote the season-opening race of the IndyCar Series. "In 2003, we really should have run away with it and we didn't. So, we've got some unfinished business that we can resolve soon enough."
Bourdais just won the Rolex 24, a 24-hour race that tests every aspect of racing on the crews, drivers and vehicles. He told reporters that the Firestone event will be more of a sprint. He added he was looking forward to seeing the race grow in popularity, even more when it returns to St. Pete on March 30.
"It takes time to bring a new sport to a new environment and this area has really responded to it. The first time we were here in 2003 it was like, 'Okay, let's see how that goes'. Their response was a great," he said. "Every year it's bigger. Like they say, it's a great party. Everybody loves it. It's already a great event but it will probably become one of the greatest events on the IndyCar schedule."
The race has been in St. Petersburg for 10 years. This year marks the fourth in a row that the race kicks off the season for IndyCar.
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