Formula 1 for Fun

The best seats were on the yachts.

The view from the grandstands, looking toward Acura Yacht Club, watching the race.
Dudley Dawson

A highlight of the Formula 1 racing season for motorsports fans in Europe has long been watching the road course action from yachts Med-moored in Monte Carlo. Now Americans have figured out how to enjoy comparable thrills right here in the U.S.A., thanks to temporary slips installed at St. Petersburg's Acura Yacht Club this spring for the Honda Grand Prix. The view was indeed superb as Yachting joined the action in Florida for the second running of the Grand Prix.

Top Indy Car honors went to Helio Castroneves, a veteran Marlboro Team Penske driver. Team owner and former racer Roger Penske worked the pits while his yacht, Detroit Eagle, joined dozens of other yachts, including a 30-foot Silverton, a 63-foot Bertram, and a classic Palmer Johnson Le Club Tarpon.

The St. Pete venue is unique, as it is the Indy Racing League's only temporary street course. Two other races are run on permanent road courses at Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Sonoma, Calif. The remaining 11 races, including the legendary Indianapolis 500, are run on oval tracks.