Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Racing Development (BRD) formally announced today that the Baltimore Grand Prix will be part of the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule beginning in 2011. The inaugural event has been scheduled for August 5-7, 2011 and will be contested on a temporary street circuit around the scenic Inner Harbor area of downtown Baltimore.
BRD also announced that the event will be an annual fixture on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule for at least five years, thanks to multi-year contracts with the Indy Racing League and City of Baltimore.The announcement follows the unanimous approval earlier this summer of both a Baltimore City Council resolution and a vote of the Maryland Stadium Authority to formally support BRD’s efforts to pursue bringing an IZOD IndyCar Series race to Baltimore.
“This is an historic day for Baltimore and the State of Maryland, as well as the entire East Coast Region, as we have finalized plans for the IZOD IndyCar Series racing in Baltimore in 2011,” said Jay Davidson, CEO of the Baltimore Grand Prix and Baltimore Racing Development. “When we began our pursuit of this race over two years ago, we had a number of major steps to accomplish and are so thankful to the State, City and the community for embracing our efforts. This three-day festival of speed will not just include car racing, but will feature family-friendly activities, offer great entertainment and much, much more.”
Among those joining Davidson for the announcement today at the Baltimore Convention Center were Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Indy Racing League President of the Commercial Division Terry Angstadt, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Baltimore to shine in the national spotlight, and benefit from the millions in tourism dollars it will bring to our State,” said Governor O’Malley.
“The Baltimore Grand Prix will add to the impressive list of exciting and significant sporting and entertainment events Maryland is home to every year.”“In August 2011, our City will be the home for one of the most exciting sporting events in the world,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “I want to thank the Governor, BRD and IndyCar officials for your role in making this race a reality for Baltimore. In addition to filling City hotel rooms and restaurants, this street race will change the way the world sees Baltimore as a result of global media exposure to millions of Indy Racing League fans who attend similar events in San Paulo, Long Beach and St. Petersburg.”
The Indy Racing League is the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, North America’s premier open-wheel racing series. The IZOD IndyCar Series is predicated on the history, heritage, passion and intense competition of the Indianapolis 500, referred to as the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The IZOD IndyCar Series schedule is the most diverse in all of motorsports, featuring races on traditional oval tracks, road courses and temporary street circuits. Among the IZOD IndyCar Series’ diverse lineup of drivers are Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Danica Patrick, Graham Rahal and Dario Franchitti.Open-wheel racing refers to a classic type of racing involving fender-less cars with wheels outside the body and one seat. Open-wheel cars are built specifically for racing and are generally the most technologically advanced racecars in the world, with many capable of reaching speeds in excess of 220 mph.