Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg features a variety of support series cars

Indy Lights

The primary feeder series for IndyCar. They're slightly smaller and not quite as powerful (about 420 horsepower as opposed to about 700 for IndyCars) and they run on unleaded gasoline as opposed to the ethanol that IndyCar uses. This weekend opens the 12-race slate.

Star Mazda series

An open-wheel series, these cars are another step on the IndyCar ladder, just below Indy Lights, as part of IndyCar's "Road to Indy" program. The Mazda engines produce about 250 horsepower. The series has 17 events slated for this season and opens with two races this weekend.

USF2000

An entry-level open-wheel series under the sanction of IndyCar. These cars produce about 170 horsepower. Star Mazda is the next step up for these drivers and teams. The series opened its 13-race season last weekend at Sebring with two races; Matthew Brabham won the first and Spencer Pigot the second.

World Challenge

A sportscar series with three classes: Grand Touring, Grand Touring Sport and Touring Car (which also has a B spec category). The GTs and GTSs put out up to 525 horsepower and are versions of stock sedans and coupes. The TCs are smaller, compact or touring-type cars that have about 180-260 horsepower. This is the season opener and the first of eight weekends for the series.

Ferrari Challenge

A new addition to the St. Petersburg calendar, these sportscars, called 458 Challenge cars, are built just for this series. The series is not open to pro drivers. This is the first of eight weekends on the series schedule.

Times staff

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

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