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Track and Indycars prepared if rain becomes a factor

Rain was a factor in the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Rain was a factor in the 2008 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Track and cars prepared if rain becomes a factor

ST. PETERSBURG — Will it rain on the Grand Prix festivities this weekend?

It might, but that doesn't mean the party will be called off.

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is used to some drizzles, and the cars can still race on wet roads, using grooved tires instead of the "slicks" they sometimes employ.

"They'll run as long as it's safe conditions for the drivers," Grand Prix president Tim Ramsberger said. "I think we can handle it."

Standing water, however, could bring the race to a halt.

The IndyCars have trouble with puddles, and the race was delayed in 2010 when a deluge left the track too wet. Officials postponed racing until Monday that year and opened the gates for free admission, hoping some would take advantage of the chance to sample the race.

The weekend forecast from Bay News 9 calls for a 10 percent chance of rain today, a 30 percent chance Saturday and at least a 40 percent chance Sunday. Some forecasts have the Sunday rain coming late in the afternoon, potentially allowing the IndyCar race, which starts at 12:30 p.m. and runs about two hours, to finish.

If it does rain, fans are allowed to bring umbrellas, though they can't be used in areas that obstruct others' view of the race.

Times staff writers Meredith Rutland and Mike Stephenson contributed to this report.

Track and Indycars prepared if rain becomes a factor 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 6:31pm]
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