Racing fans who enjoyed the spectacle of open-wheel single-seaters racing around Baltimore's Inner Harbor and past Camden Yards where the Orioles and the Ravens play may be disheartened to read of the latest developments. But take heart: it ain't over, they say, until the fat lady sings, and in this case she appears only to have taken a brief intermission.

The future of the Baltimore Grand Prix (an IndyCar race, not to be confused with Formula 1 grands prix that typically take the host country's, not the host city's name) has been in jeopardy for several months now. As with many things, the issue boiled down to money: while most communities support such racing events financially with public funds, the organizers of the Baltimore Grand Prix were expected to remunerate the city to the tune of $1.5 million. At the end of the day, Baltimore Racing Development failed to meet its financial commitments, so the city has revoked the firm's contract only one year into its five-year term.

So does that mean the race won't be held again? The signs seem to point in a positive direction, as the city holds discussions with other organizers interested in taking BRD's place. Series organizers appear to have faith that a new deal will be put in place in time for the upcoming season, with the event currently on the official IndyCar Series race calendar for September 2.

The new calendar, meanwhile, drops the races in Milwaukee, New Hampshire and Kentucky. Las Vegas was also removed from the calendar following the now-infamous Wheldon crash, while the race in Japan was replaced by a new grand prix in Qingdao, China.


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  • 34 Comments
      Mike
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they get something worked out. I know a lot of people that went and really enjoyed the event. I plan to attend this year if it happens.
        kelvin273c
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike
        I sent the tip and I enjoyed the races. You can't really blame Baltimore though.
          Mike
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kelvin273c
          There is a lot you can blame the Baltimore City Government for but this isn't one of them.
      Hike15
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope it comes back. Seeing the ALMS race that weekend was a spectacular experience. Really hoping I get to see it more than once.
      BOB
      • 3 Years Ago
      They can race from Dallas to Austin in I-35
      Ed
      • 3 Years Ago
      People are blaming "greedy" politicians, but they forget that the crowds don't clean up after themselves. I'm sorry, if you want to take over my city for a weekend, you've at least gotta pay to clean up after yourself.
      ELG
      • 3 Years Ago
      typical greedy MD politicians. (and the ravens dont play at camden yards)
        T REXX
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ELG
        but they do have their own stadium NEXT TO THE ORIOLES "IN PURPLE"..LOL
      Scr
      • 3 Years Ago
      If nothing else, it gave them an excuse to finally fix the roads around the Harbor and the stadiums. Baltimore, what a hole.
      sajwife
      • 3 Years Ago
      They tried for a grand prix here in Oklahoma City, but voters said no. Another case of too few benefiting from a sporting event that disrupts the city for weeks and months. If I wanted to see racing, I'd travel to Georgia or Indianapolis or Florida.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Lester
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm really not wanting to go into a drawn out debate with you, but your comments are WAY off base and ingnorant...On amateur levels, both ball-sports and auto sports (especially drag racing's point and shoot) are easy to do. On pro-levels however, both are worthy of mutual respect as both require higher than average skills and knowledge.
      ijardine
      • 3 Years Ago
      The City of Baltimore was unrealistic and hoping to host a race and be paid. The fact is this event in 2011 brought in a lot of fans to the City who enjoyed and paid for the amenties and restaurants etc etc etc. The side financial benefit to the City was considerable. The venue is good so let's hope a new contract with new promoters can be worked out. Just hope the City politicians do not make unreasonable demands on immediate cash returns. To those who think F1 racing is "better" just remember that 50% of the F1 grid is now made up of no name PAY drivers and F1(FOM) charges around $30mm annually as a franchise fee, compared to roughly $1.2mm that Indycar series charges. Support AOW racing people. Street racing is loads of fun to watch live!
        Rob
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ijardine
        The talent level in F1 is tons better than IRL. The franchice fees are paid by the sponsors. The drivers in F1 aren't even allowed to race at that level until they go through years of lower level series'. Street racing is fun, as long as you have the talent to make it so. I'd rather watch Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button than Dario or Tony Kannan.
          ijardine
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rob
          To each his own. But first neither the IRL nor Champcar exist anymore only Indycar. AOW racing also has feeder series so that drivers can qualify for a racing license in Indycar and on top of that "rookies" to IMS need a specific qualification and training runs to show their competency. F1 has had to resort to 'tricks" like DRS in order to have overtaking. You will see as much action and overtaking in Indycar as F1. By the way Kimi had a mere 19 openwheel races before he was given a Super License for F1 so the years of qualification for F1 has long gone. While I ALSO enjoy F1 and Hamilton and Button I also like to watch Kannan and Franchitti. It IS possible to be a fan of both series. I have been a fan of both for many years (I even met Jim Clark!). My personal all time favorite OW series was F5000 because those cars were such brutes and such fun to watch.
          jlv327
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rob
          Stopped watching open wheel when CART folded. F1 would have to pay me to watch one of their races.. The most money wins in that series.. At least a knowledge of the french language is not required to understand a driver while speaking... lol
      bj80
      • 3 Years Ago
      Indy Car made a big mistake when they started doing away with oval tracks and started focusing more on road courses. I would watch F1 if I wanted to watch road courses that is what attracted me to Indycar racing was the fast oval racing it is exciting, and now that Danica is gone I wonder who they will get to be the "face" of IndyCar. A lot of people may not have liked her but face it she got people interested and watching and after what happened in Vegas they are having to scramble to save face.
        Ross
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bj80
        Oval tracks started disappearing because people didn't show up. Simple economics. I've read about fans demanding ovals, but nobody shows up to them on race day or watches them on TV. I, personally, do love the Indycar ovals more than road/street courses, but I understand the economics behind the decisions. Plus, Danica didn't sell any more tickets at tracks and most fans didn't really care for her anyway. Eddie Gossage, the guy over Texas Motor Speedway, a while back stated that having her in the series didn't cause him to sell any more tickets to his tracks.
        ttruckr23
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bj80
        Street "racing" is the biggest mistake Indy cars have made. Boring, single line slot car racing is all it is. Organizers like it for several reasons but I can't imagine why a paying fan would want to go see nothing, then 100 yds of track, then your view is gone. The last couple years of IRL, with their engine formula and oval tracks, was some of the best racing in years. Now they're looking to attract the sip your tea with your pinkie stuck out crowd by going to cities, and playing follow the leader around a Joisey barrier lined, i lane track, totally disregarding what will help bring real racing FANS back to their circus..... fast, close oval racing. Combine that with some sort of a ladder for US drivers to climb to get to IndyCar racing and that's what'll bring folks back.
          Ross
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ttruckr23
          I hope you understand that Indycar is a business just like anything else. If FANS really wanted ovals, the FANS would show up, pack the stands, and the tv ratings would be great. If that were the case, the schedule would be overflowing with ovals. However, that is not the case. That'd be like an electronic company saying "We have 5 people demanding VCR's, but 5,000 wanting DVD players...what should we do?" Well, you start making DVD players because that's what the people are buying. And look, I've been to Indycar street/road races and I've been to ovals. And, although the ovals are arguably better to watch on ovals, I as a fan had way more fun at the road/street races. You can say street races are a mistake, but that's where attendance is increasing and tv ratings are increasing the most. You'd be stupid to show up at Milwaukee for 15,000 people when 60,000 would show up at Infineon or 75,000 at Baltimore.
          wrxfrk16
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ttruckr23
          It may be exciting to watch, but they're giving up oval tracks because open wheelers just aren't for them. It's exactly how Wheldon died, when they can run several cars wide they're going to, and it's a matter of time till they go wheel to wheel.
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      The IRL is done. With few recogizable faces left it's got 2-3 years at most. George should've stuck with his original vision of the IRL as an open wheel oval circuit.
        ijardine
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob
        George is out of the IRL and the merged Champcar and IRL is now called Indycar. George's mission of promoting largely Oval race venues has failed miserably as fans far prefer to watch the rough and tumble of Nascar sedans metal on meta on ovalsl.In short Oval race promoters have LOST MONEYon ovals and these Indycar venues are being replaced by street races which garner 200K fans over a weekend. If you like pure racing open wheel is techically a better spectacle (IMHO)
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyway, I don't like the fact that the series uses one manufacture, Honda, as the sole engine. The point of racing, or, well, it was, was to promote the brand. Ford, Mercedes, BMW, etc..etc. The IRL( as I still call it) shot itself in the foot when Tony spit from the original CART. What used to be the darling of American motorsports, yep even over NASCAR, is now a shadow of its' former self.
        Ross
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rob
        It is obvious you know NOTHING about the series. Yes, Honda WAS the only engine supplier. However, in 2012 there will be Honda, Chevy, and Lotus providing engines for the series, and in 2013 the manufacturers providing engines, Dallara, and any other people who want to can provide "aero kits" for the cars which opens the opportunity for the cars to look different at the track. And for heavens sake, it's been 15+ years...can we stop talking about "The Split". Unless you can time travel it can't be undone.
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