Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya has had a busy start to his week as he racked up the air miles. The Team Penske driver was Phoenix International Raceway on Monday to conduct a pre-season test with team mate Simon Pagenaud.

On Tuesday the Colombian visited St Petersburg ahead of the opening race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg to inspect the preparations for the race. Montoya is the defending race winner here having taken victory in 2015. Speaking during his visit, he said:

It’s very nice to be here in St. Petersburg and see the racetrack, see the city, The city is really pretty. Preparing for the first race is huge, last year was a great race for me and a great crowd. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd and a great race weekend (this year) as well.

The driver of the No.2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet continued by saying:

It’s a great way to start the season, We do about three or four street courses a year and this is one of the most fun ones, for sure.

Promoter of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg Kevin Savoree who runs the event with his company partner and former Andretti Autosport co-owner Kim Green commented by saying:

All of us are anxious to kick off the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season and the construction is off to a great start, We couldn’t do it without our great partners that we have here to work with us to build the track, the great partners that we have with the city of St. Petersburg.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg takes place from March 11-13 and tickets are on sale now from http://www.gpstpete.com/

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