Mazda Road to Indy makes pit stop in Tampa before Grand Prix of St. Pete

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Mazda Road to Indy makes a pit stop in Florida, with a kickoff press conference in advance of next week’s season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The event, which is to reveal a “new initiative in the world of open wheel racing,” begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21 at the strategic communications firm Victory Group Studios in Tampa.

Mazda Road to Indy is a developmental racing group launched in 2010 that assists drivers and series champions with scholarships and other aid to help them advance through the IndyCar Series, which leads to the Indianapolis 500.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg starts March 28-30.

Racing legend Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosports and lead driver in 42 IndyCar wins, will host the invitation-only event, which should attract more than 150 public, corporate and race industry backers.

Also featured are race cars from three Indy series’, a custom-built race simulator, music and refreshments.

Scheduled to appear are industry leaders Cosworth CEO Hal Reisiger, Dallara U.S. president Stefano dePonti, Terry Thompson of Sunoco and Kim Green of Green Savoree Racing.

Political luminaries making up the Florida “contingent” at the presser includes Attorney General Pam Bondi; State Sens. Jeff Brandes and Bill Galvano; state Reps. Dana Young and Janet Cruz; St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayors Dick Greco and Rick Baker; and St. Pete Grand Prix President Tim Ramsberger.

Victory Group Studios is located at 1200 West Cass Street in Tampa.

For more information, call Adam Goodman (813) 230-5462 or Ashley Intartaglia (813) 965-1655. RSVPs are to


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.