ABC will open the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a live telecast of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 12.

Coverage begins with pre-race at noon ET with the race’s green flag at 12:30 p.m. The telecast also will stream live on WatchESPN. Run in one of auto racing’s most picturesque settings, the 110-lap race will be contested on a 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary racing circuit that includes St. Petersburg city streets as well as part of an adjacent airport.

ESPN’s production of the race telecast will introduce two new innovations to enhance the viewing experience for fans, including the first, exclusive usage of a predictive analytics system built especially for IndyCar racing that will bring viewers closer to the strategy that often determines race winners.

“Racing can be like watching a chess match: you have to be able to see what is being set up, not just what is happening right now. This innovation will allow us to present strategy information in a way that IndyCar fans have never seen before.”

ESPN will produce telecasts of four additional Verizon IndyCar Series races this season on ABC, including the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28 and two days of Indy 500 qualifications May 20-21.

In addition to television in the United States on ABC, ESPN also distributes Verizon IndyCar Series race telecasts through a combination of ESPN networks and syndication to more than 170 countries and 100 million homes.

Again this year, ESPN Player will bring fans across Europe, the Middle East and Africa live and on-demand coverage of the Verizon IndyCar Series season as a channel on the digital subscription service.