Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baltimore Grand Prix

Today was a new experience for our family.  We had tickets to the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix that is taking place over this Labor Day weekend. They set up a temporary track on the streets of Baltimore for the event.  Our seats were right in front of the Baltimore Convention Center as you can see from the photo below. One of the companies that my company does business with, Muscle Milk sponsors a car in the American LeMans Series.

There were five different racing series running different events over the course of the weekend.  Since Muscle Milk had their car running the Le Mans race this afternoon, they provided us with tickets for the day.  The racing concludes with the Izod Indy Car race on Sunday, featuring my son's favorite driver Danica Patrick.

Even though the Indy car race was tomorrow, there were a couple of opportunities to see Danica driving.  One of the first events of the day, at 9am, was practice for the Indy Car race.  Shortly after noon, they also have the qualifying laps for the race.  My son's eyes lit up and a smile came to his face as soon as she drove by.  I was able to get a few nice shots of Danica racing around the track during those times.

Our day started fairly early.  As I said, we wanted to see Danica during practice at 9am so we had to leave the house a little bit before 8am to head to the light rail system to go to the event.  After the early practice, I met my contact with Muscle Milk who took us to the garage area where they were working on the car.  They had some mechanical issues earlier in the week and were frantically trying to get the car ready for the race.

I did not take any pictures because I did not want to get in the way of their work, though they did show us the chassis of the car and showed us the rest of the parts that would need to be reassembled once the car was repaired.  We also were able to meet a couple of their drivers, get some hats and t-shirts, and get a few autographs.  The good news is they were able to get the car repaired in time to start the race.

Because we had such an early start to the day, and my son was getting pretty tired, we did not stay very long for the Le Mans series race.  It started some time after 4pm.  We did get to see one short race of one of the minor car series.  The cars roared past us in front of the Convention Center and one of them had an accident in the first turn.  I did get this shot of one car making a pass on another during that race.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, but tiring and very loud.  We had to buy some ear plugs from one of the concessionaires.  We were also able to find one concession stand dedicated strictly to Danica Patrick.  My son walked away with a Hot Wheels car of her #7 Go Daddy Indy racing car.  We are all looking forward to attending another race in the future.

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  1. I remember when the Watkins Glen GP was run on the city streets with just hay bales for protection. Too loud for me now.

  2. there are a lot of things these days that are too loud for me that didn't used to be



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