In just a couple of seasons, the Grand Prix of Baltimore (Sun., 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) has made plenty of headlines for both good and bad reasons.
The races themselves have been entertaining thanks to a relatively wide circuit with multiple passing zones, but financial issues involving past race organizers have, at times, overshadowed the on-track action.
This recent article should give you a basic understanding of those latter problems, so we’ll move our focus to the Baltimore layout, which will play host this weekend to not only the IZOD IndyCar Series but also its main development league, Firestone Indy Lights, and the American Le Mans Series as well.
Winding along Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor and past Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the circuit boasts two exceptional passing zones with the right-hander at Turn 1 off the main straight and another right-hander at the Turn 3 hairpin, which comes after a shorter stretch.
A potential trouble spot comes later on at the Turn 5-6-7 complex, which is situated near the entrance to pit road. This part of the course was tweaked (as was Turn 1) prior to last year’s race to increase passing, but it’s still a tough left/right/left section that can wind up causing problems.
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.
Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.
“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”
Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.
But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.
“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.
Monday was IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti’s 53rd birthday and son Marco was nowhere to be found – but with good reason.
The younger Andretti and Andretti Autosport teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay were both testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio.
Also taking part in the test was Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe.
It was Hinchcliffe’s second successful test since recovering from his horrific crash during practice for this year’s Indianapolis 500 in May.
Hinchcliffe’s first test was last week at Road America in Wisconsin.
Monday’s test session was not open to the public or media, but a Honda source told Motorsportstalk that drivers and teams reportedly focused on testing aerodynamics for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.