Notes: St. Pete tickets on sale to public

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Public sales for three-day tickets to the 2019 IndyCar Series season opener, the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, began Thursday. The temporary street course in the Florida city is playing host to the series opener for the ninth straight year, from March 8-10.

Weekend general admission tickets are $55 for adults, with a junior ticket for ages 12 and under available for $30. Three-day grandstand seats start at $105, $70 for juniors. Pit access and Firestone Paddock passes may also be purchased now. Single-day tickets will be released for sale closer to the event. For information and to purchase, visit gpstpete.com or call 877-725-8849.

With the purchase of a three-day grandstand seat, a limited number of Champions Club passes are available for $75 each until Nov. 22. Champions Club members now get unprecedented access to attend the official IndyCar Series drivers meeting on race day, as well as a Firestone Paddock pass, access to the prerace grid walk, a souvenir credential with lanyard, discounts on official event merchandise, an opportunity to win a two-seater Indy car ride on track and more.

"The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is a must-do event during Florida’s spring break season," said Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, organizers of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “The experience extends beyond the great racing on track.

"St. Pete is a world-class setting with absolutely terrific sightlines of the Tampa Bay, and the downtown remains open to experience its great restaurants and shopping. This is the ideal coastal destination for both the fans and drivers to get a new IndyCar season started."

Muse to perform during COTA race weekend

Muse, the English rock band with a pair of Grammy Awards for best rock album, will be the headline performer at a Circuit of the Americas concert on the eve of the first IndyCar Series race at the Austin, Texas, track in 2019.

Muse will perform on the Super Stage located inside the racetrack facility, on Saturday, March 23, a day before the IndyCar Series race at the popular permanent road course. The COTA race is the second of 17 on the 2019 IndyCar Series schedule.

The stop in Austin is part of the 2019 tour for Muse to promote its new album, “Simulation Theory,” to be released Friday. The band earned Grammys for best rock album in 2011 for “The Resistance” and in 2016 for “Drones.”

Tickets for the COTA race go on sale Nov. 14.

Abel Motorsports announces two-car Pro Mazda effort

Abel Motorsports, a past entrant in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and winner of the 2018 F3Americas Championship, announced it will run a two-car effort next season in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, the middle rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder sanctioned by INDYCAR.

Jacob AbelJacob Abel, 17, will drive one of the cars, with the second driver to be named. Abel Motorsports, based in Louisville, Kentucky, acquired the Pro Mazda assets of Cape Motorsports.

Jacob Abel competed for the team in five USF2000 races this season, with a best finish of 10th place in the second race at Road America. Kyle Kirkwood, who won the USF2000 championship driving for Cape Motorsports, also drove for Abel in F3Americas, winning 15 of 17 races to also claim that series’ title. Jacob Abel had four third-place finishes in F3Americas competition.

“This represents a major step forward in our development as a top-line racing organization,” team principal Bill Abel said. “We intend to make more progress in 2019, our third season as a professional open-wheel team. We’re coming off a sensational second year, with Kyle Kirkwood dominating F3Americas and us winning the team championship there.

“Now, we’re ready to tackle the Road to Indy ladder in Pro Mazda. It’s a tough series with lots of strong teams and talented young drivers, but we’ve built the infrastructure on and off the track to allow us to succeed at that level and beyond.”

Marotti Racing entering USF2000 in 2019

Marotti Racing, which aligned with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for Indianapolis 500 entries in 2016 and ’17, will field an entry for driver Jason Reichert in the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the initial rung of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.

Reichert, 19, captured this year’s Pacific F2000 championship with wins in the final two races of the season. The Las Vegas native also won the SCCA National Championship Runoffs race in Formula Continental last month at Sonoma Raceway.

“We could not be more thrilled to have a driver the caliber of Jason to be our first signing,” team owner Will Marotti said. “He is smart, fast, personable and extremely mature. He will be an excellent brand ambassador for any sponsor. We have absolute confidence that Jason will win races and championships in the years to come.”

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