St Pete to join 2005 schedule

The Indy Racing League will announce this week its intention to hold a street race next season in St. Petersburg in Florida

St Pete to join 2005 schedule

The long-rumoured event will be held on April 3, making it the first non-oval race in IRL IndyCar Series history. An announcement Thursday in St. Petersburg will unveil the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was a Champ Car World Series event in 2003.

The IRL previously announced two road-course events for 2005, marking the series' first venture into races outside its all-oval format. The IRL will race late in the season at Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. The St. Petersburg race will increase the 2005 IRL schedule to 17 races.

The St. Pete event is backed by a group led by Barry Green, who has been out of racing since 2002, when he sold his interest in a CART team that later became Andretti Green Racing and joined the IRL. Green won the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 with Jacques Villeneuve.

The race is expected to use the same 1.8-mile circuit, which includes part of an airport, which was used previously. Paul Tracy won the 2003 race. The IRL also is expected to hold a limited test next weekend on the road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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