St. Petersburg weekend schedule revealed

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One of the busiest street race weekends for the 2015 race season has released its weekend schedule.

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend will now feature the Verizon IndyCar Series season opener as headliner, along with the Pirelli World Challenge, all three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder and the Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks series.

IndyCar’s race will be the last event of the weekend, scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Sunday.

PWC will have four races, two apiece for its GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS classes. The GTS races will be Friday at 10:15 a.m. and Saturday at 5:45 p.m.

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will have a race apiece Saturday and Sunday. SST will have a race apiece as well.

Friday is practice for all except PWC, which has the GTS race and the GT qualifying. PWC will also have additional practice and qualifying on Thursday.

Saturday is qualifying and racing, with Sunday just warmup and racing.

The full track and PWC schedules can be found at the embedded links.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.