Race Car Rookie Of The Year Tests Baltimore’s Tracks

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — On one of the coldest days of the year, the streets of Baltimore felt the heat of burning rubber. A race car that will compete in the Baltimore Grand Prix took a test run.

Mary Bubala shows us one of racing’s brightest young stars who was behind the wheel.

In the heart of Baltimore, the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year took a spin on Charm City’s streets, testing the pavement months before the Baltimore Grand Prix gets underway on Labor Day weekend.

Rookie of the Year, Simona de Silvestro, was behind the wheel of that speeding car. She greeted Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The mayor actually got the race car started for Silvestro.

“There are going to be thousands of people lining the streets, excited about these race cars speeding around the streets. We are going to be on the international stage. It’s going to be great,” said Rawlings-Blake.

Simona and HVM Racing signed a three-year corporate sponsorship deal and that’s great news for the future of the up- and-coming driver.

“I started when I was six in go-carts, but it became really serious, like three years ago,” said Silvestro.

Silvestro will race in Baltimore on a track that runs down Pratt Street, to Light and Conway Streets, cuts through the stadiums, then onto Russell Street. The cars will reach speeds up to 180 miles per hour.

CEO of IndyCar Racing Randy Bernard says he believes Baltimore will become one of the top three events in their series.

“I have never seen so many tickets sold in such a short time in any event that I have ever produced, and I have been around a lot of big events. The momentum here has been outstanding and I want to give the city of Baltimore tremendous credit,” said Bernard.

The Baltimore Grand Prix roars into town Labor Day weekend. It will be broadcast to more than 200 countries worldwide.


More from Mary Bubala
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  • Judi Foersimo

    Baltimore Streets for racing. Must not be in my area of Baltimore. By the way, who paid for the street repairs. Was it my tax dollars. I’d rather have it go towards fixing the citizens streets. I’ve gone through 4 tires in less than 3 years because of our poy holes. I would hope my tax dollars weren’t spent to build a racetrack in Baltimore.

    • WhildforWheldon

      Indy car is putting alot of money into fixing the streets. And they are being fixed because Indy car is coming. Without this event, the streets would remain the same bumpy, tire-eating garbage they’ve always been, Be happy.

    • Sean F

      Shut up… Geesh.. And yes it was your tax $ but the money from this will benefit the city…

    • Tyler M

      seriously? They are citizen streets. Oh and watch where your going maybe?

    • Justan Goldstein

      @Judi – What an ignorant uniformed comment. This is the problem in this country, No your tax money was not used to upgrade the streets but even if it was, I would have supported it. Let’s see, 100,000 visitors to the city for a three day event = much more money for the city than is being spent = you are an idiot.

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    Big Joke. What a consumer ripoff & poor people will never ever benefit from any of this but will pay in part by way of higher taxes.

    • WhildforWheldon

      HOW IS THIS A CONSUMER RIP-OFF? What consumers? I am an Indy car fan and very happy that it is coming to Baltimore so I can spend my money here and not in other cities. The MILLIONS and I do mean MILLIONS of dollars this will bring into the city will benefit the city if the POLITICANS (read, NOT INDY CAR) do the right thing. I trust Mayor Blake to do that.

    • Don

      Poor people don’t pay income tax and the promoters payed for the street repairs anyway.

    • Justan Goldstein

      Haha, let’s ship the Ravens out of town as well because poor people don’t benefit from football games

  • Paul S

    I can’t wait! I really enjoyed smelling race fuel again today :)

  • pigeon

    Shame more serious consideration wasn’t given when NASCAR wanted to build a track here.

    • WhildforWheldon

      I don’t know what happened to the “Super Track” proposal. It would have hosted Nascar and Indycar. I think that was in Baltimore County, but the nice thing about this is that it doesn’t represent a permanent commitment if it doesn’t work out. (PS. this is not a NASCAR vs. INDYCAR thing. There are lots of cross fans here.)

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    Paul S, You like smelling underwear & sneakers too? Sicko.

  • Edvado

    Sadly, you all who are looking for a ripoff will be disappointed to find that all the road work is being paid for by the promoters, and will leave behind even better roads than they find when started. This is a total win-win for the city. Literally MILLIONS of dollars in hotel, souvenir, parking, and restaurant money coming into the city in return for one weekend of convenience. As for the low income folks not being able to see the action – If they can’t get to a TV, they’re already missing a whole lot of other events. if they can, they’ll see this one.

    • James

      I was going to say… people are just looking for things to gripe about with this event… this is probably one of the BIGGEST things to hit Baltimore in a long long time… and the commerce that this will create is just mind-boggling. Tax dollars? Not even an issue… the promoters paid for our roads to be fixed… that’s tax dollars saved, in case people reading don’t have basic skills of deduction…

      also, NASCAR? yech.

  • KIT

    Ever since this was first announced I’ve been having bad premonition dreams, there’s going to be a very bad accident and a lot of people will be hurt and killed.
    I hope and pray that I’m wrong, but a lot of my premonition dreams do come true.
    Those city streets are not made for racing on, and those sharp turns will be very dangerous, especially at high speeds. I don’t know how or when it will happen. I just hope everyone will be safe and nothing bad happens. I can’t shake the bad feeling I’m having about it. I will not be there and I will not watch it on t v.

    • WhildforWheldon

      Kit, violent horrible accidents happen everyday in seemingly normal situations. Are you basing this on anything concrete? INDYCAR has set the standard for auto racing safety not only in cars but in fan safety. Did youknow if NASCAR had adopted some of the INDYCAR technology, Dale Earnhart would have more than likely survived his accident? (RIP DALE SR.) These are skilled drivers who are trained for street courses, not your run of the mill-rush-hour idiots.

    • Justan Goldstein

      I had a premonition that someone who commented on a story named KIT would kill themselves

      • Idiot exposure

        ur idiot beyond idiots!!

  • chuckbob

    The only constant here will be to griping of Baltimorians about this venue. The bottom line is that the people here do not deserve an event like this which generates money from sources other than taxes, as they only see what can be handed out free to them as a good thing.

  • http://mix1065fm.radio.com/2011/01/25/baltimore-gets-a-grand-prix-view/ Baltimore Gets A Grand Prix-View – Mix 1065 – MIX 106.5 HOMEPAGE

    […] Even more from our partners at WJZ TV. […]

  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    Yeah, good for the community. So good that the race committee had to borrow $500k from the state to make a payment on the loan to get this thing going. Talk about operating with the taxpayers money? The organizers are the only ones that will benefit from this race. How about using some of those millions that the city will reap in & use them to lower peoples property taxes. How about Ms. mayor?

  • Rashad Gray

    It is surprising to me that people in this town are always complaining about how Baltimore does not get enough recognition, but when something positive comes to the city there are so many negatives found in the situation. This is a great event for this city. Do you know how many millions of dollars will be brought in because of this event? The Izod race is going to be viewed internationally in over 200 countries. This could become an annual event for Baltimore. Not only that, this event could enhance business and tourism at the Inner Harbor. WHICH COULD LOWER TAXES. Stop being so pessimistic and be optimistic for once.

  • WhildforWheldon

    Wake up! Its a done deal! Let the event even happen before waggling your finger and claiming its a bad idea. This is gonna be darn fun, a windfall for the city, and it will help to put Baltimore on the map for something positive rather than its high crime, bad schools, oh yea, and wasn’t it voted one of the rudest cities in the country.

  • dave

    got my ticket…see ya there !

  • rob

    I just reserved my hotel and I’m coming from Indianapolis.

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