Baltimore Sun Confirms American Le Mans Part of August 2011 Street Course IndyCar Race Deal
by, 09-02-2010 at 02:13 PM (11342 Views)
Back in May we reported on Baltimore, Maryland's approval of a street course race by the IndyCar series planned for August 2011. Set to split the distance between Baltimore's Inner Harbor and Camden Yards where the Baltimore Orioles baseball team calls home, the event had obvious potential. Back then we'd yearned for ALMS and perhaps Audi involvement in the weekend - a piggyback style race much like other ALMS/Indycar street venues such as the Long Beach or Detroit's Belle Isle. In that regard we're excited to report that our wish has been at least partially granted. The Baltimore Sun newspaper has confirmed this week that the ALMS will indeed join IndyCar for a race on the same Labor Day 2011 race weekend one year from today.
If the plan goes as expected, practices for both series will take place Friday of race weekend, the ALMS will run on Saturday and IndyCar will run Sunday. A full press conference on the subject is expected to take place next week.
Will Audi Be There?
It is expected that Audi will return to LMP racing next season with an all-new R18 LMP that will likely take advantage of the rules package set in place for hybrid drivetrain racecars as will Ingolstadt's chief rivals at Peugeot. Generally a first-year program for a new Audi prototype does not include a full ALMS season though participation in the Le Mans Intercontinental Cup makes races such as Sebring and Petit Le Mans likely. Baltimore won't be part of the cup and will be very close on the schedule to Silverstone in England meaning the entire team would have to be shipped back to Europe only to return almost immediately for September's Petit Le Mans.
On one hand this would be a logistical nightmare. On the other hand, this is a major metropolitan area both close to Audi of America headquarters in Herndon, VA and also in the heart of the north east cluster of cities such as Philadelphia, New York and Washington where Audi sells a LOT of cars. No doubt Audi will weigh these advantages as they consider participation in the race.
Even if the R18s and teams do not come to Baltimore that doesn't mean Audi is out of the running. Audi is also still evaluating the idea of R8 LMS participation in the ALMS' GTC or GT Challenge class for next season. Were this the case then a team or teams fielding R8s could also take to the tarmac in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
Read the Baltimore Sun story on news of the ALMS involvement as well as our original post about the Inner Harbor based IndyCar race after the jumps.
Full Story - Baltimore Sun Confirms ALMS Involvement
Full Story - Original News Blog Post about Baltimore IndyCar Race with Course Details