2009-08-07

More Street Circuits... Sigh

According to a report in the Baltimore Sun, it seems like Terry Angstadt thinks running in Baltimore in 2011 is a good idea. He has sent a letter to the mayor of Baltimore, indicating that the IRL would like to sanction an event alongside Camden Yards in 2 years time.

"I am taking this opportunity to convey to you, collectively, how interested the Indy Racing League is in the possibility that our organization would sanction an IndyCar Series event in Baltimore starting in 2011," said the letter received by city officials July 20 from Terry Angstadt, president of IRL's commercial division.


"I respectfully ask the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland to partner with [Baltimore Racing Development] to make the Baltimore Grand Prix a reality," said the letter to Mayor Sheila Dixon and City Council members.

A race in the north-east appeals to the IRL, and it is an unserved market with a historically decent fan base. And the layout doesn't look bad, and Al Unser Jr. has a hand in designing it so it should be alright and it's another course with right turns.


On top of all that, it seems like this thing is ready to go. City Council members can't find any issues in regards to not staging the event. They all seem to think that it is a nice way to bring money into the area and promote the city. Hell, Mayor Sheila Dixon might even be a long lost relative of Scott Dixon which must be a sign.


But this is another twisty course on a road circuit. Why? We have plenty of tracks that we can go to that must be better then this. If Terry wants to grab a hold of the north-eastern market, Loudon is sitting un-used by Indycars, Pocono is sitting there un-used by Indycars, and a permanent road course facility in New Jersey is sitting there un-used by Indycars. It bothers me that the IRL seems to want to push these street circuits (don't forget this supposed New England/Gillette Stadium street course for 2011).


Why the sudden addiction to street circuits by the IRL? I'm all for the twisties, but, at some point, why waste the good permanent ovals and road courses for these temporary circuits that usually end up in a lack of action and excitement.


Luckily, St. Pete and Toronto usually put on a good show, and Long Beach can do it sometimes, and atleast Long Beach has the heritage to fall back on. But all these new street circuits like the proposed Baltimore and New Hamshire and Nashville tracks seem more likely to go the way of Denver, Las Vegas, and the non-existant Pheonix race then of the great street circuits on the ICS schedule right now.


It almost seems, asides from St. Petes, that street events need some history behind them to make them work, and the time where street racing was a niche event is over I think.


It just bugs me when we could see a schedule filled with a 50/50 oval/street-road mix with awesome historic Road America, Cleveland, Michigan, Loudon, Laguna Seca, Milwaukee, and Fontana instead of these temporary street circuits in Baltimore, Nashville, and New England.


Street circuits can be fun, but there isn't a whole lot of room for a bunch of room on the schedule for them when they take away other tracks spots. And I realize that a whole lot of people are getting mad that we are dumping ovals for street circuits and road courses. So, let's keep the small group of IRL fans happy and keep some ovals on the schedule.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

rumors are they're looking at a parking lot race in Boston too? isn't that the same geographic area? and a parking lot--maybe the only thing worse than an airport or street circuit.

Filipe said...

Street parades usually pay better fees then permanent tracks, which is why CCWS had so many of thm near the end.

Anonymous said...

If AJ IV is in the race I don’t think that his wife would be at the race. She would draw a bigger boo than Heilo on Canada.

Bob said...

I think these are sort of a necessary evil but I also think they are cool. 3 points for them are:
1. It is an "event" and draws a good crowd, like a big party for people even if they don't care for racing.
2. It may bring in some new fans who otherwise wouldn't go to a race but go to this because it is like a festival.
3. They pay.
3 reasons against:
1. Questionable racing (hopefully AU JR. design helps)
2. Questionable racing
3. Questionable racing

bmnehls said...

To elaborate on what Bob said....
3 reasons for:
1. Probably good money with the backing of the city
Can't think of a single one because I hate that city (Browns fan)
3 reasons against:
1. Cleveland
2. Loudon
3. Road America

Anonymous said...

There won't be a Indy Car series left by 2011, so all of this is just a waste of print.

Indy with 15 street festivals. That is the direction of Champ Car err, Indy Car, today. And it will go down in flames too.

Anonymous said...

I can understand people's disdain for street circuits, only b/c the United States (and IRL) doesn't have any that are wide enough to allow much passing. However, street circuits are fun and exciting! If they make a good layout, this race will be superb. Yet, I wonder why they don't consider Houston. Champ Car had a great layout at Reliant Park.

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