Baltimore Sunday Pre-Race Updates

RELAX, BALTIMORE, SUNDAY EDITION! More good weather. More big crowds, a combination of veteran Indycar fans, ALMS fans, and people who became racing fans this week. The paddock expected the new pavement, along with the newly constructed chicane, to be an issue – but so far, so good. There was a lot of apprehension by locals that their city would bad, followed by a sense of relief as the event unfolded yesterday, then followed by excitement as the racing was good. Some media noted that some fans were here that formerly attended places like Trenton and the ill-fated Washington DC races. Local press estimate today's crowd at 75,000 and reserved seating is sold out.

This isn’t to suggest that the race organizers don't have a zillion important details that have to be fixed for next year. For starters, there were crowd control problems after the race as fans waited for half an hour or more to cross the pedestrian bridges, and yes, there were some scuffles. There are reports of reserved seating tickets being sold for seats that didn't exist. Such things are easily forgiven in the first year of the event, especially when the racing and turnout were both incredible, but won't be forgiven going forward.

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Simona de Silvestro is having a great weekend here at Baltimore. Not only hasn't she caught fire (Indy), or hit the wall (Milwaukee) or been refused entry to the country (last weekend), but she posted FASTEST PRACTICE SPEED in a crash-filled morning practice session. It doesn't help that her sponsor has put out the red carpet this weekend to its clients as well.

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Not so lucky were drivers who met trouble in morning practice. Tony Kanaan will start the race in a backup car after a braking problem put him into Helio Castroneves in morning practice. Helio will also start in a backup car.

When practice resumed another incident involved Ana Beatriz, JR Hildebrand and James Jakes. Practice was concluded a few minutes early after that incident.

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When talking to the Indy Lights drivers, it is clear that it's hot outside, that the track is very physical, and will punish mistakes. The fitness levels of drivers will be tested, which will benefit Indycar triathletes Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira. — Tim Wohlford, reporting from Baltimore

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