A week ago a group was selected to follow the drivers of the Grand Prix of Baltimore, this group will attend the various Grand Prix functions that will occur in the weeks leading up to and during the event. As a member of this SocialGP group I attended a screening of the film Super Speedway today at the Baltimore Marriott near the Inner Harbor.
The film screening was presented by Jade Gurss and surprise guest JF Thormann, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Andretti Autosport. Both hosts graciously discussed their background working with racing teams, Jade shared his earliest memory of falling in love with car racing by being given a snow cone while attending his first race as a child, and JF gave a heartfelt description of his relationship with the Andretti family and his brief experience as a race car driver nearly driving Michael Andretti off the track. The duo’s descriptions of their relationship with car racing and the film’s portrayal of an IndyCar season with Michael Andretti were sincere testaments to a lifelong passion with racing.
One of the perks of the screening was the opportunity to share the experience with a guest. Below, my mother-in-law Lynn shows off the passes that will be used to attend the weekend-long Grand Prix. Lynn and I later discussed the purpose of having “real people” attend socials and communicate the story of the upcoming race. For me, the race signifies opportunities for Baltimore. Events like the Grand Prix raise Baltimore’s visibility nationwide as a top tier destination and brings tourism dollars to the city during an ailing economy. The SocialGP experience is an opportunity for my family and I to experience IndyCar firsthand and be exposed to technologies we may otherwise not had access to. I’m pretty sure Lynn had a great time.
Near the Marriott, the grandstands could be seen lining the streets along the inner harbor and throughout downtown Baltimore. Construction crews have a few finishing touches left before the track is ready.
Fortunately, construction teams are working tirelessly through the nights leading up to the event to make sure everything is ready in time for the crowds.
The Grand Prix of Baltimore is happening August 31 – September 2, 2012. This race map shows the circuit and key event areas including grandstand locations. I’ll be posting as I attend events and receive more information, I’ve learned I have been paired with driver JR Hildebrand. The pairing helps give me someone to cheer for during the IndyCar races and provides focus while communicating about the IndyCar Series. I’m looking forward to this unique experience and can’t wait for the races to begin.
If you’re on twitter, here are great lists to follow the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers, IZOD IndyCar Series teams, and #SocialGP participants. Ticket and race schedules are available here. The official hashtag for the event is #GPoB.
Posted by Dennis Bonilla