Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE( WJZ)– After years of planning, the green flag finally drops on the Baltimore Grand Prix. Fans from around the world are in Baltimore for a weekend filled with fast cars.
Meghan McCorkell has more from fans who have been watching their favorite drivers.
The track is quiet now. But all day long, the cars have been practicing for Sunday’s big race. And if you’re planning to come out, you’ll need a pair of earplugs. It gets loud down here.
The roar of the engines matches the excitement of the crowd. It’s a surreal sight, as downtown Baltimore turns into a high-speed racetrack.
“Walking around, it looks like an excellent track. Excellent!” said Barry Maloney, a racing fan.
The Baltimore Grand Prix is drawing racing fanatics.
“We live here in the neighborhood,” Rosemary Muir said. “We think this is a great event for our neighborhood and for our city. And we’re race fans.”
It’s also drawing newbies getting their first taste of the sport.
“We live about a block away,” said another fan. “So if I had to listen to it, I might as well see it.”
“Very excited to see all the cars today,” said one father of his 5-year-old son.
Inside the IndyCar paddock, fans get an up-close look at the stars of the race– the cars.
Scott Dixon’s No. 9 car was in for service after a wreck. Fans got a glimpse of what goes on inside the pit.
Danica Patrick herself signed some interesting autographs for her fans. The up-close access is inspiring some future drivers.
Reporter: “You think you could be a racecar driver when you grow up?”
7-year-old Henry Stone: “Yeah.”
Reporter: “Who is your favorite driver?”
Michael Hargrove: “Franchitti.”
Reporter: “Why Franchitti?”
Michael Hargrove: Because my favorite color is red and he has a red car.
But with speeds reaching 180 miles per hour, for now, fans are leaving the driving to the pros.
Reporter: “You think you can take corners like that?”
Racing Fan: “Not at all, not at all.”
The start of Friday’s racing was delayed because of some last-minute issues with metal security fences. Organizers say they are ready for an on-time start Saturday.
The IndyCar qualifying race is Saturday just after noon. The final race is Sunday at 2:45 p.m.