Fans looking for a unique experience at the Baltimore Grand Prix Saturday afternoon might want to check out The American Le Man's Series cars as they ready for their 4:30 race. The Series features "an open grid". That means at 3:40 the cars will already be lined up on the track and the gates inside the track at Utah, Hopkins and Hanover Streets will be opened and fans can walk onto the track and inspect the race cars.
The opportunity lasts for a half-hour. Then the track will be cleared and drivers will get in their cars. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps will give the command to drivers to start their engines and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will act as the honorary starter, waving the green flag to get the race underway.
Fans continue to flock to the downtown streets of Baltimore today. Bands are setting up on Howard St., beside the Convention Center. Food stands already have long lines.
Women are eating ice cream. Men hold large sandwiches and beer. Young children are holding parents hands, and some of them are, smartly, covered their ears in headphones, protecting from the roaring engine noise.
Noise, crowds, suspect weather. None of it bothers Matt Freid, 23, who is making his way with the help of a cane.
"It's all so amazing," said the Frederick resident. "This is my first big event in six years."
Freid is wearing a sign that says, "Hello, my name is Mr. Right." Six years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer.
"It messed up everything," he said.
But he was happy as he moved off to watch the racecars.
"This is just amazing, the whole thing," he said. "It could only be better if they asked me to drive."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun