St. Petersburg Times

A fan's guide to the races
Tickets prices for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg are $25 for a general admission ticket for today, with youth 12-and-under $10. Sunday only general admission is $35, with youth tickets $10. Reserved seats for Sunday start at $55 for adults and $35 for youths. For information, call (727) 892-5767 or visit the Bayfront Center Mahaffey Theater Box Office or
Saturday’s events
  • 8 a.m. Gates open
  • 8:30-9 Infinity Pro Series practice
  • 9:15-10:25 IndyCar practice
  • 10:45 Infinity Pro Series qualifying
  • 11:45 Air show
  • 12:15-1:30 SCCA qualifying
  • 2-2:30 Infinity Pro Series practice
  • 2:15-3 SCCA drivers autograph session at SpeedZone
  • 2:45-4:15 IndyCar qualifying
  • 5-6 IndyCar and Infinity Pro Series drivers autograph session at SpeedZone

Sunday’s events

  • 8 a.m. Gates open
  • 9-9:30 IndyCar warmup
  • 9:45 SCCA Group B race
  • 11:00 Infinity Pro Series prerace ceremony
  • 11:30 Infinity Pro Series race
  • 12:45 SCCA Group A race
  • 2:00 Air show
  • 2:45 IndyCars prerace ceremony
  • 3:45 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
  • About 6:15 Good Charlotte concert

Admission policy
The following may not be brought into the circuit. Bags are subject to search and inspection. Storage for prohibited items will not be provided or allowed at entry gates.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Food and beverages
  • Coolers
  • Glass bottles, cans
  • Stadium seats
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Commercial signs and banners
  • Signs and banners that impair spectator vision or safety
  • Handbills and pamphlets
  • Lawn furniture and folding chairs (except in RV Park)
  • Pets (except certified service animals)
  • Scaffolding, ladders, stepstool or other structures
  • Noise makers, horns, helium balloons, beach balls
  • Bicycles and scooters
  • Skates, skateboards and rollerblades
  • Motorcycles and off-road vehicles

Hockey Night will play three shows Saturday at 10:25, 1:30 and 4:20 at Honda Plaza.

Good Charlotte will perform 30 minutes after the IndyCars race finishes Sunday along the front straightaway. The concert is free for those who have tickets to Sunday's races.

Telecast: Sunday's SCCA races will be live on ESPN. Speed Channel's coverage of the SCCA races will be broadcast on April 10.

What to bring: Suggested items to bring to the races:
  • Ear plugs
  • Binoculars
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat, visor or cap
  • Camera or videocamera
Rentals: Binoculars, scanners and head phones are available through the Racing Electronics trailer. Prices are $7.50 a day for binoculars or $15 for the weekend. One headset with a scanner is $35 a day or $50 for the weekend. Two headsets with scanner are $50 a day or $65 and a scanner and intercom are $70 daily or $100 for the weekend. When renting a scanner, binoculars are available for $5.

How to take great auto racing photos
Tips for capturing the action from the New York Institute of Photography Web site,
• Don’t freeze the action with a fast shutter speed. This may be fine for a pole vaulter, but it’s a bad choice at an auto race. If you “freeze” a speeding car it will look like it’s standing still. It may as well be parked!

• A better technique is to place your camera on a tripod and shoot with a slow shutter speed. Start with 1/30th-second and experiment with even slower shutter speeds like 1/15th or even 1/8th. On your prints the racing cars will come out with a blurred look. This implies to the viewer that they’re whizzing by.

•With any technique, the Institute suggests you position the car off center in your viewfinder with open space in front of it, giving the implication the car has space to move into.

• An even better option is to combine tripod use and a slow shutter speed with a panning motion as a car whizzes by. How do you pan? You pick up the car in your viewfinder a few seconds before you actually press the shutter button. Follow the car in your viewfinder by swiveling the camera to keep it in view. As the car zooms by, press the shutter button. Keep following the car in the viewfinder for a few more seconds. Result: The racing car will come out sharp in the print, but the background will blur. This blurred background implies speed!
Sources: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, New York Institute of Photography and CART Series Media Guide.
[Times art: Teresanne Cossetta, Nelda Barlow]

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