The Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, presented by RP Funding, the opening race of the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, is exactly three weeks away, and earlier this week, construction began on the street circuit.

The construction will take 21 days, with 300 workers moving 18,000 feet of steel-reinforced concrete blocks to create barriers around the circuit, with nearly 2,000 blocks placed into position. More than 12,000 tires will be used to create the track’s tire wall safety system, and 25,000 feet of chain-link spectator fencing and 18,000 feet of panel fencing will also be placed around the circuit.

This year, just like in 2023, there will be 27 cars in the field for the opening race of the season, with 27 being the number of full-time drivers in the series in 2024. All the teams except for Team Penske have some form of new line-up with Scott McLaughlin, defending Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden, and Will Power remaining with the team.

It will be interesting to see who has the edge this season, due to the lack of testing the teams have had very little time to prepare for the start of the new season.

Arrow McLaren will have to deal with the fact that they will have a substitute driver in place for their new signing, David Malukas, who underwent surgery to repair the damage done to his left wrist during a cycling accident last week. The most recent update from the team earlier this week was that Malukas’ recovery could take up to six weeks.

Chip Ganassi Racing has expanded to five cars full-time this season with Scott Dixon and defending series champion Alex Palou joined by a couple of new drivers in Linus Lindqvist and Kyffin Simpson. At the same time, Marcus Armstrong will make his full-time debut with the team in St Pete.

Meyer Shank Racing has an all-new line-up of Felix Rosenqvist and Tom Blomqvist. The introduction of the new hybrid technology has been delayed until after the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in May.

Whatever happens this season will be an extremely close year with plenty to play for.

(Video courtesy of INDYCAR via



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