Grand Prix drivers deserve support

August 28, 2012

I know nothing about open-wheel, IndyCar racing, but I do recognize what happens to squabbling families — and how they self-destruct.

Until the Baltimore Grand Prix came to our city for a second time, I never bothered to study the sport, and I'm trying to learn. It's amazing there are so many "moving parts" to putting on a road race, and the skill and technology involved boggle the mind.

If the people of Baltimore were smart (a questionable assumption), they would support the Baltimore Grand Prix in the same way they coddle the Ravens. Just contemplating the labor that goes into aligning downtown's track exhausts me, and then all the logistics involved with everything else seems overwhelming.

What surprised me the most, though, were the biographies of the drivers. I was under the impression folks took up race car driving when they got out of college. Wrong! These sportsmen and women begin as children in go-carts and work as hard as Olympic hopefuls. They deserve praise and admiration.

Sadly, though (and this is something the race car promoters must understand), we live in a celebrity-driven culture. It's a shame to see much skill, talent, originality and dedication so often swept under the rug unless some person "makes a name for themselves" in the tabloid firmament. It's sad the only race car drivers who have broken into this realm was a guy who appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" and another who married an actress. Hardly much in that to convey the time, energy, expense, effort and skill it takes to become an IndyCar driver.

Just about everyone drives a car today, and car racing should be something to fascinate us all. So if the Indy family would stop quarreling and begin promote their venues, along with their professionals, fans would come back. I may not know how to drive a stick shift, but I do understand human nature!

Roz Heid, Baltimore

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