2016 Firestone Grand Prix kicks off in St. Pete

- The roar of the engines will echo through the streets of downtown Saint Petersburg as the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix kicks off Friday.

More than 150,000 fans are expected to funnel into downtown during one of Pinellas County's largest events of the year. City officials estimate 1 million television viewers and 200 countries will see St. Pete's waterfront track.

The international exposure is worth millions of dollars, and the race has an estimated economic impact of nearly $50 million.

“I am excited to welcome back one of the Sunshine City’s best events, the Firestone Grand Prix,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman in a news release.

Now in its twelfth year, the Grand Prix is run on a 1.8 mile, 14 turn waterfront circuit that includes a combination of adjacent downtown streets circling Pioneer Park, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, the Dali Museum and extending onto the runaways of Albert Whitted Airport, which overlook the Tampa Bay and picturesque St. Petersburg Harbor and Marina.

To learn more about the event, visit gpstpete.com.

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