Unfortunately time is tight, so here's a quick update from St. Petersburg, the site of the IRL's very first street circuit event.
First of all, I have to say I'm quite impressed with how the event is shaping up. Overall the venue is quite nice - the track has a great layout and the locals seem really excited about having the race here. The stands were more than half full even for Friday practice. The weather has probably helped - while it's been storming all over Florida and Georgia the past few days, the weather here has been sunny and warm, though the wind has been pretty fierce at times.
Honda had a great showing, qualifying 3 cars in the top 4, with Brian Herta taking 1st, Tony Kanaan 3rd, and Dario Franchitti grabbing 4th. Helio Castroneves' Penske Toyota was 2nd quickest.
Speed World Challenge is also here this weekend, and our friends at Realtime Racing did pretty well with the TSXs in today's qualifying session, with Pierre Kleinubing qualifying with the 2nd quickest lap of the session, and Peter Cunningham just a tick behind him in 3rd. Randy Pobst set a sizzling time in his Mazda6 and judging by the look of things is going to be very difficult for the Realtime cars to deal with. The third Realtime TSX, driven by rookie Brandon Davis retired with a suspension-related failure.