IndyCar Series Season Opens on ABC from St. Petersburg
With fans of the series eagerly awaiting some racing to kick off the new year, the Verizon IndyCar Series season will launch with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend on the Florida city's picturesque street circuit.
ABC will have a live telecast of the event on Sunday, March 29, with pre-race at 3 p.m. ET and the green flag at 3:37 p.m. The 110-lap race will be run on a 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary racing circuit that includes St. Petersburg city streets as well as part of an airport.
The race will mark the competition debut of the Verizon IndyCar Series' new-look race cars, with the Chevrolet and Honda-powered machines carrying unique aerodynamic kits designed to not only enhance performance but also to distinguish different cars.
Lead announcer Allen Bestwick will be joined in the booth for analysis by former series drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, with Goodyear starting his 14th season as an analyst and Cheever his eighth. The coverage team at St. Petersburg also will include pit reporters Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl and Dr. Jerry Punch. Jim Gaiero will produce the telecast and Bruce Watson will direct.
ESPN will produce telecasts of four additional Verizon IndyCar Series races this season on ABC, including the May 24 Indianapolis 500 and two days of Indy 500 qualifications May 16-17. ABC also will televise the race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 9 and two races from Detroit's Belle Isle circuit May 30-31.
In addition to television in the United States on ABC, ESPN also distributes Verizon IndyCar Series race telecasts through a combination of ESPN networks and syndication to more than 198 countries and over 103 million homes. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world can watch live via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network.
This year, ESPN Player will bring fans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (excluding the UK, France, Italy and South Africa) live and on-demand coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series season as a new channel on the digital subscription service. Subscribers will also be able to take advantage of ESPN Player's on-demand service to watch all the qualifying action before tuning in to watch the resulting race live. ESPN Player is available on Mac, PC, iPad, LG and Samsung Smart TVs, with high quality streaming on all devices. Information is available at ESPNPlayer.com.