A plan to bring the IZOD IndyCar Series to the streets abutting Baltimore's Inner Harbor cleared its final city hurdle May 5 as the Board of Estimates agreed to a five-year contract with Baltimore Racing Development Corp. City officials indicated they were targeting August of 2011 for the Baltimore Grand Prix's inaugural event.
The panel unanimously approved $8 million in state and federal funds to prepare 2.4 miles of roads for the potential race weekend. The promoter, which must donate at least $100,000 every year to local non-profit organizations as part of the agreement, is seeking to have the sanctioning Indy Racing League add the venue to its 2011 schedule.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of the Board of Estimates' unanimous vote as it is a key step in bringing the Indy Racing League to Baltimore in 2011,” said Terry Angstadt, the Indy Racing League's commercial division president. “We will be working with the promoter to finalize a sanctioning agreement in the coming weeks and will announce more details regarding the future race at that time.
“Baltimore is a great fit for the Indy Racing League as it gives us a presence in the Mid-Atlantic region. Baltimore Racing Development, as well as the city of Baltimore, has been very enthusiastic throughout this process and we are confident they will put on a first-rate event to showcase the stars and cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series.”
The planned race would run on a temporary circuit comprised of a loop of streets surrounding Baltimore's Inner Harbor entertainment district and Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where pit lane would be located. City transportation workers will begin preparing streets later this month, a process expected to take a year.