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Preps In Full Swing For Weekend’s Grand Prix Race

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Last-minute preparations are underway for the Baltimore Grand Prix. That means plenty of road closures and traffic headaches for drivers downtown.

Weijia Jiang has a look at the last-minute touches.

Ready. Set. It’s almost go time.

WJZ spotted one of the first Indy race cars to hit the streets of Baltimore. And just-released virtual images give us a behind-the-wheel look at what drivers will see as they race through them. But first, the city and Grand Prix organizers have a long road ahead.

“We’ve got about 45, 50 people working in our offices, really 24/7 at this point,” said Jay Davidson, president of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Crews need to shut down major streets to finish building the course.

Pratt between Paca and Calvert, along with all of Conway will be closed Wednesday night. On Thursday, I-395 will follow.

To keep traffic flowing, officers will be stationed at every major downtown intersection.

“We have traffic signal plans developed to flush streets,” Frank Murphy, the deputy director of the Baltimore Department of Transportation, said. “We’ve posted no parking. We will be towing violators.”

Crews are busy building the pit too, where teams take a pit stop between races to fuel up, pump tires and regroup.

And then there’s the job that involves prepping the speed machines. Typically, it takes 15 people to get her done.

“We rip the car apart, engine out, tranny out, go through brakes, fuel system, soup to nuts,” said John Bedell of Magnus Racing.

With the countdown officially on, everyone involved with the Grand Prix has a job so dozens of Indy cars can wow tens of thousands of fans.

Teams will be rolling out the cars for practice runs on Friday. Then, all the big races officially start on Saturday. You can watch the Baltimore Grand Prix live on WJZ.

The two-mile course is expected to be built completely by Thursday night.

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