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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 05/ 5/2010

Bringing new meaning to street racing

By Washington Post editors

Open-wheel racing is coming to Baltimore.

Baltimore officials approved a contract Wednesday with local investors who’ve been working to launch a race known as the Baltimore Grand Prix. The Indy Racing League is expected to sign a sanctioning agreement in the next two weeks.

The race would be IRL’s first in the mid-Atlantic region. Drivers would race in a loop around downtown, passing by the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards at speeds up to 185 mph.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the race “will change the way the world sees Baltimore.”

The city approved using $7.75 million in state and federal grants to make necessary road improvements for the inaugural race, which would be held in August 2011.

-- Associated Press

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By Washington Post editors  | May 5, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland, Traffic and Transportation  | Tags:  Auto racing, Baltimore, Indy Racing League, Motorsport, Open wheel car  
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There had been an IRL race in Richmond through last year, since discontinued. What this development does demonstrate to certain interested parties (i.e. D.C. United) is Baltimore's willingness to spend public funds on sports. Whether that's actually a good thing is for voters to decide come election time.

Posted by: evwill | May 5, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The nightmare scenario for Baltimore is that this Indy Car race could meet the same fate as the Cadillac Grand Prix in Washington. The District had a 10-year agrement with promoters of that race and spent more than $5 million to create a track near RFK stadium. The inaugural -- and last -- race took place in 2002. Within a year, the deal had fallen apart amid complaints from neighborhoods affected by the race, leaving the city on the hook for the capital investment with little to show for it.

Posted by: gpoi | May 5, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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