It's hard to believe that were already coming up to the Grand Prix of Baltimore! It seems like just yesterday we were heading into St. Petersburg! This season has definitely been a lot of things for our series and all the others. In USF2000 there's more than 30 cars on average, while the top 15 in Star Mazda have been extremely tight with each other, there's been unexpected turns in Indy Lights, and new cars and engine teething in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
This year has been one to remember so far, both the good and the bad. One thing is for sure I am really looking forward to finally racing back in the States. I mean I will miss Canada for more reasons than one, but this is my home, not to mention we'll be racing on Labor Day weekend!
The race this weekend is still going to be a very special one to the city of Baltimore. With last year being the very first GP for the city, at the end of the weekend, there were a lot of ideas for things that could be made better for future races. One of the biggest things last year was the chicane on the front straightaway that was supposed to protect the cars and drivers from hitting the railroad tracks at high speed, but this made it a bit harder of a race to run and pass as well.
Like anything, whether it's your first year in little league or your first year driving karts or at a track, there is always going to be things you would like to do differently at the end of the day, and I think they are spot on this year. From what I've heard so far, the track is going to be one of the top places that we will race at this year, and I'm very excited to take to the track Friday morning.
From my experience last year racing in the USF2000 series, the one thing that stood out to me the most was just the overall speed of the track. This is another thing that is getting me very excited for this race! In a way, the track has some characteristics of Toronto, as far as high speed and rhythm corners where it becomes important to work on all of the details to find time, and that's where we're strong!
One thing about Baltimore is it's probably one of the least forgiving tracks we will race on because of the higher-speed corners, but it will definitely make for an exciting race in every series, and that's why people come to watch! With that being said, it leads into the next aspect of the city I love, and that's the fans around this race. Last year was just amazing to see how many people came out, and the numbers should be even higher this year!
As I said earlier, this is going to be a special race for the city, but also a very special race to me as well. Baltimore is very close to my major sponsor K12's headquarters! K12 is the largest online education provider in the United States and they make it possible for me to travel so much and follow my dreams for that matter.
I was able to start my drive to the track a little early this week, and was able to show my car at their headquarters and get the tour throughout the whole building. I have always been proud to be a K12 student and even more so being able to represent them in the Star Mazda Championship Series. Being able to go to their main office and meet all of the great people who work hard everyday to give kids around the world the opportunity to chase their dreams no matter what they might be, was a feeling that made me extremely happy and excited to be a part of the K12 family.
For everyone at the K12 offices, this weekend's goal for me is definitely a win for everything they have done to help me! I'll also have a ton of the Young Marines at the track too supporting over the holiday weekend. The Baltimore race is going to be a lot of fun and I'm excited to be back in the car after our short break! Hope to see you all out at the racetrack.
Star Mazda Championship driver Zach Veach drives the Andretti Autosport No. 77 K12/Mazda. For more on Zach, go to www.zachveach.com.