- Associated Press - Monday, August 15, 2011

BALTIMORE — Construction for the Baltimore Grand Prix has been snarling downtown traffic all summer, but in a few weeks race cars will be flying along downtown streets at 180 mph on the newly paved temporary circuit.

The 2-mile, 13-turn course is taking shape as crews set up grandstands and cement walls topped by fences. Drivers will hurtle past the Inner Harbor, around Oriole Park at Camden Yards and down a main boulevard.

Baltimore has become known for crime dramas set in the city such as “The Wire” and “Homicide,” but this event will give the world another reference, said Councilman William Cole, whose district includes the circuit and surrounding neighborhoods.

“We’re exposing the city to a completely new set of people, a new audience,” he said. “To me that’s the biggest motivation. We’re changing the way people see Baltimore.”