With that said, my excitement for September’s Baltimore Grand Prix is off the charts. Imagine the pure brilliance of the event; the most skilled drivers in the world (apart from Formula 1 drivers, but that’s an argument for a different day) taking to the streets of Charm City, speeding through city blocks at eye-popping speeds, and whizzing by some of the landmarks that make Baltimore such a great city.
If you’ve been living under a Baltimore sports rock, I’ll fill you in on the details of the race. It’s occurring over Labor Day Weekend, and five different races will be held. The featured race is part of the IndyCar Series, and will be held on Sunday. Practice and qualifying sessions for IndyCar are on Friday, and the American Le Mans Series, probably the most underrated racing series in the world, will have a race on Saturday.
The track is just over two miles long, with the start and finish line on Pratt Street. The drivers will pass Oriole Park at Camden Yards, race along the Inner Harbor, and the Baltimore Convention Center. The course features 12 turns, 13 grandstands, and a pit row positioned next to Oriole Park.
For fans, there will not be a shortage of things to do when no race is being run on the track. In the “Party Zone,” well-known music acts will be playing all weekend, including some of the top local acts in the Baltimore scene. There will be a “Family Fun Zone,” which will contain games and activities for kids, and surely some music as well. Lastly, the part of the event that’s sure to be a hit with fans, is the “Interactive Racing Zone.” A free area, fans can stay here and partake in video game and virtual racing, meet drivers, and watch the races on a big screen.
IndyCar drivers have already experienced street racing in major cities this Summer, driving through the streets of St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia), Long Beach, and Sao Paulo (Brazil, not Russia). Sao Paulo’s track was the only one bigger than Baltimore’s will be, with a distance of about 2.5 miles.
I attend the NCAA lacrosse championships whenever they’re in Baltimore, and the thing I love about that weekend is that it brings in fans from all over the country and lets them experience the best of Baltimore. Restaurants are open, music is everywhere, and the Inner Harbor is alive. The Grand Prix should be no different. Labor Day Weekend in Baltimore will be a fun three days for everyone involved, whether you’re there to watch the race, experience some of the surrounding events, or just enjoy a city that’s as fun and entertaining as any.
Follow Edgar Walker on Twitter.