IndyCar

St. Petersburg Grand Prix reinstated; expected to be IndyCar’s new finale

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After initially announcing the race was canceled, IndyCar and Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg organizers apparently will reschedule the race as the 2020 season finale.

In a release announcing the rescheduling of the Indianapolis 500 to Aug. 23, a copy of the revised schedule for 2020 listed “Streets of St. Petersburg” as “TBD Expected Finale.”

St. Pete would replace Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California, which played host to the championship finale last year for the first time in two decades. This year’s race at Laguna Seca remains on Sept. 20.

The new schedule also lists new dates for Mid-Ohio (Aug. 9), Gateway (Aug. 30) and Portland (Sept. 13), mostly to accommodate moving the Indy 500 out of May for the first time ever.

There also are no dates listed for the Circuit of the Americas and Barber Motorsports Park, effectively canceling those races.

During a March 12 news conference in St. Petersburg, Mark Miles and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman had cast serious doubt on the likelihood of rescheduling the street race, whose course of concrete barriers and catchfencing takes several weeks to construct.

From a series point of view, that would be very difficult,” said Miles, who is the CEO of the company that runs IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Nobody knows what the next several weeks or months are going to look like. You have multiple considerations. We’ve built a track. It’s tough to build it twice. There are television considerations. It would be highly unlikely to reschedule this.”

During a conference call Thursday, Miles said the support of Kriseman had made the logistics possible for returning to St. Petersburg — possibly with a date at the beginning of October or slightly later for the new season finale.

“I’ve spoken to the mayor at least twice in the last three days,” Miles said. “He’s an IndyCar fan. He’s a true believer in the value of a race at St. Petersburg for his community.

“They just never gave up. They’re making some arrangements that make it more feasible logistically. I think they’ll try to keep up some of their stands, not completely reset as I thought they might have had to. The key was their persistence and their appreciation for what (the race) brings to them.

“It’s just such a superb event to be in South Florida to start the season every year. In this case, we’ll be doing it to end the year. We’ll be back to open the season in March 2021. We think that’s special.”

In a release Thursday from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg stated, “IndyCar announced earlier today that the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is expected to be rescheduled for later in 2020. The event was originally set for March 13-15, 2020. This shift to a later date is in support of the NTT IndyCar SERIES’ efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020 and would be expected to serve as the season finale round.

“The rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event will remain the priority of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Previously purchased tickets to the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg would be valid and honored on the rescheduled date yet to be determined.”

Here is the updated 2020 IndyCar schedule as listed in a release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Saturday, May 30 

Streets of Detroit Race 1

Sunday, May 31

Streets of Detroit Race 2

Saturday, June 6

Texas Motor Speedway

Sunday, June 21

Road America

Saturday, June 27

Richmond Raceway

Saturday, July 4

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

Sunday, July 12

Streets of Toronto

Saturday, July 18

Iowa Speedway

Sunday, Aug. 9

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Sunday, Aug. 23

Indianapolis 500 Mile Race

Sunday, Aug. 30

World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway

Sunday, Sept. 13

Portland International Raceway

Sunday, Sept. 20

WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca

TBD expected finale

Streets of St. Petersburg

MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has second surgery on fractured arm

MotoGP Marc Marquez second surgery
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images
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Defending MotoGP series champion Marc Marquez underwent a second surgery Monday after a titanium plate inserted in his fractured right arm sustained damage. The Repsol Honda Team said in a statement that it’ll be two days before the recovery period is determined.

Marquez was injured during a crash in the July 19 season opener. He underwent an initial surgery July 21 in Barcelona, and doctors said there was no nerve damage.

The eight-time champion was cleared to race in the season’s second event Jerez. But Marquez decided to skip the July 26 race after experiencing discomfort while riding the No. 93 bike in a July 25 practice.

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He had planned to race in Sunday’s grand prix at the Automotodrom Brno in the Czech Republic in hopes of returning to defend his title. His status for Sunday apparently will be unclear until at least Wednesday.

In a statement Monday, the team said the titanium plate in Marquez’s right arm successfully was replaced after stress accumulation. Marquez will stay in the hospital for two days recovering.

Dr Xavier Mir, who performed the surgery at the Hospital Universitari Dexeus, said in the release that “Marc Marquez underwent surgery 13 days ago and today he returned to the operating room. The first operation was successful, what was not expected was that the plate was insufficient. An accumulation of stress in the operated area has caused the plate to suffer some damage, so today the titanium plate has been removed and replaced by a new fixation.

“The rider has not felt pain during this period. He has always followed the medical advice given and the feeling from his body. Unfortunately, an overstress has caused this issue. Now we have to wait 48 hours to understand the recovery time.”