Inaugural Grand Prix Winner Crowned

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Grand Prix crowns a winner. After a weekend full of racing excitement, Will Power crossed the finish line first.

Derek Valcourt spoke with fans.

The speeds were fast, the noise was deafening and the crowds were huge. Baltimore’s first Grand Prix is considered a success and it ended Sunday with the main attraction of the three-day event: the IndyCar race.

“The speed, the camaraderie of the drivers, the race teams, the noise—I love it,” said one man.

At speeds near 180 miles an hour, drivers raced 75 laps through a special course on downtown city streets. Fans lined up the whole way for a glimpse.

“They’re racing from Camden Yards to the Inner Harbor, jewels of the city. It’s a great idea. They’ve got to be raking in money; look at all the people here,” said one man.

Money is the name of the game and part of the reason why the city wanted to host the Grand Prix. It’s a boost for the local economy and an attraction drawing tourists from all over the world.

The size of the crowds impressed race winner Will Power.

“When I was on my warm down lap after I won the race, I looked around. Every single stand was full, and as you work your way through the paddock, it was people everywhere so I’d say it was the best street race we’ve had all year,” Power said.

People perched high to find the best view of the deafening race. For most, ear protection was the order of the day.

“It’s not so loud up in the grandstand. It’s loud down here on the street level because of the echo from the buildings but when you are up in your seat, it’s awesome,” said Marcella Bonner.

And with that kind of praise, many here are already anticipating the Grand Prix’s return next year.

“Can’t wait for them to do it again,” said one.

Now the process of breaking it all down begins. This is not going to happen overnight. It will probably take several days. Baltimore officials hope to have most of it done by Tuesday.

More from Derek Valcourt
  • Start your engines

    What a great event for Baltimore. I attended all 3 days and had a blast. I met a lot of people from all over the state Friday and Saturday. Sunday was packed with lots of out of towners. I spoke to people from Philly, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware.

    Looks like Baltimore will be welcoming race fans with open arms these next 4 years and hopefully longer.

  • Wilford P Wellington

    For Baltimore to be the Home of The Star Spangled Banner, that rendition was the SORRIEST I have ever heard. That should have been a TOTAL EMBARRASEMENT to the city. JMHO

    • Overall, impressed

      Same sentiment here. Who was she? And why was she still wearing a cap after the announcer ordered everyone else to remove theirs?

      That said, the rest seemed like a huge success. I was a bit leery of the idea at first, and not pleased upon hearing about the removal of trees for the grandstands, but I think this has actually been a good thing. It’s too bad, though, that it is only for 3 days a year. I commend the mayor on a successful idea, but it’s not really something that is going to improve the city much over the long term. One can only hope it made more money for the city than it took to set it up.

  • David Sturgeon

    Being an Indianapolis native and traveling to Baltimore numerous times a year for business and somewhat knowing the city, I would like to commend you on putting on a great event. I love Indy car, but must be honest, I am not a fan of road courses, but the event you just put on was the BEST road/street course I have ever watched. I wish I could have been there in person. Kudos to the city of Baltimore and Indy car. Who would have ever thought the city of Baltimore would be kind to “Indy”Car. Great Job!!!

  • rs

    So if you have a negative comment on the race you don’t post it? I have already submitted my comment and it is not on here.

    Overall, I was not satisfied spending $105 in tickets to not get any seating and had to stand to see the race (when others would not cut in front to take pictures). After the 35 lap race on Sunday, I decided that it was not worth standing around. I would not recommend to anyone going to this race. There are better activities to spend your money on and I’m quite angry that I spent the money I did and got so little out of it.


      Answer me this rs? When you go to the beach, do you bring a towel, chair, lotion, drinks or book to read?

      Why wouldn’t you prepare similarly for a day at the races?

      The in field was HUGH and there so much to do and see. The food choices were great and there was lots of entertainment.

      Maybe you should stay home next year so we won’t have to hear your negativity.

  • Chris

    How did you spend $105 and not get seats? Is that more than one person? Seats were $75. I had seats and it was AWESOME. Honestly though, while the seats were a cool bonus, I would have had a good time without any seats. If you went to turn 11 early on you could get right up by the fence where the cars were hitting 130mph, the view was good, and that was cool to see.

    I’m going back next year.

  • Downtown racing fan

    @ rs, you’re full of it. General admission was only $45.00. If you don’t want to stand bring a lounge chair.

    I’ve been to Indy, Watins Glen, Long Beach and Pocono for open wheel racing and this was the best set up I’ve seen. There were lots of places to watch straights or turns.

    Spent all 3 days downtown and noticed Baltimore’s notorious riffraff missing. Traveled by PT and had no problems.

    My only disappointment was not getting over to the hairpin turn. Next year.

  • happyfaninbaltimore

    I went all 3 days. I spent $65 for grounds admiision and had an awesome time even though I had to stand. I was able to get right up to the fence about 90% of the time to see all the action. Plus I wa able to walk around to gets eats and drinks without bothering others getting up and down from seats. So rs if you spent over $100 you should have gotten a seat somewhere. But like everything, you can’t please everyone and there will always be negativity! So no one broke your arm to be there , you could have left anytime. Next time STAY HOME! I hears there is a 5 yr contract for this event. woo hoo. I’ll be there if so. It’s better than hearing of all the killings and other crime that goes on in the city.

  • Susan Todd

    I went by cab to Fells Point and water taxi to our first American LeMans. What a great venue was put together in so little time. It was just great:=) Thank You sponsors, and let’s do it again next year!!!

  • John Scoone

    Way to go for the leadership of Baltimore who have finally done something right for a change. I’ve never seen an Indy Car race, but now I’m a fan of ths sport. It’s a win-win for the city, they state, and the sport. Let’s hope this will help to turn the city around. At least people got to see the best side of the city.

  • BMore Fast « Corner House Chronicles

    […] looked great, the fans were terrific, and we got to see a fun race.  In fact, the winner called it the best street course they has raced all season (as I write, there are only 2 races left in their year).  Thanks to the […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live