“Good Morning Chris, did you take in the Grand Prix?”

ALMS Saturday Race

Why, yes I did …

“I went on Saturday and watched qualifying for IndyCar and the ALMS (American Le Mans Series) race. And I had a pretty good time and I thought the Saturday race went over well… All in all, my take on the race I saw was that the way the weekend went it was indeed an improvement on last year and an accomplishment that it took place. While it seems a lot of Baltimoreans are on the fence about the race, from a tourism standpoint I feel that—presuming that the partners can be good stewards—Baltimore needs this about as much as they need Baltimore.

Politically speaking, it’s very good for the mayor to be out in front on this assuming it doesn’t blow up. It seems Baltimore isn’t very good about thinking about “what’s next?” When the City Council President gave her the business over it, I think it may have been easy to disavow the thing, but Indycar has the potential to increase its draw in the next ten years (with the premier series F1 coming back to the United States—Austin, this November and New Jersey and Austin both next year). While IndyCar isn’t on the same plane, it’s a decent experiment. IndyCar is “up and coming” and Baltimore is trying to maintain and increase its position as a regional destination. Five years down the line, with as little as Baltimore had to invest (compared to other things) something like this can really be something big for the racing market and the tourism trade. Anyway…

Race critique: The Sunday race I watched on TV and I thought there were way too many caution laps. It started to rain and, of course, that leads to crashes and action, etc., but to me, it has become clear that IndyCar has to go about their procedures a bit differently. (I recognize the “who’s this guy” factor, having never been in an actual race car). But, I actually took to Twitter and tweeted Allan McNish (Audi Le Mans driver) and his response gave some encouragement that the frustration wasn’t just mine and that IndyCar needs to get some cranes (like on F1 street courses) to help pull cars off-course for some of the less serious accidents (1 car accident, disabled/stalled cars, etc.) and they need to do away with 2×2 restarts. (The field bunches up—unfairly—going into the first corner and around the circuit when a single file restart would suffice and be less accident-prone). How’s that for a 50-cent answer?”

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