Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Revving Up the Warehouse

All systems are go.  The race to complete logistics for the Grand Prix of Baltimore is in high gear. Hard to imagine all this energy emanating from the corner suite one floor down, but we can sure feel the vibes. (Thankfully, not as intense as the jackhammers used on pit lane.)

Although the Andretti Sports Marketing Group has been here a few weeks, they wanted their offices decorated and organized before allowing the prying eyes from Bin 400 in for pictures.

This is the door to their suite in Warehouse A, featuring their handsome new logo and the Andretti corporate brand.  You can see the reception desk just inside, with a stunning picture of the winning Andretti team at the recent Milwaukee Indyfest. 

It's an appropriate selection, because in addition to having his marketing group promote the event into a resounding success, the Andretti racing team, led by winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, took two of three places on the podium.

They aspire to the same triumph in Baltimore.  And they're giving it their all.

Stephanie Thormann and Kristina Beese are seen here in the ticketing office.  But these two ladies have a great deal more to do, handling client services, reception duties, deliveries, and just about anything else that comes through the door.

They are both college students (actually Kristina just graduated) and are working here all summer.  More than a full time job, but both ladies are enjoying their experience in Baltimore.

You can't see their window, but they have a great view of rooftop deck at Oriole Park and are looking forward to game days (since they will be working some very long hours.)



Just inside the door (and in front of the kitchen where everyone has to pass) is the duty chart.  It's a giant "to do" list and assignment sheet, along with reminders of important times and dates.

In the middle is the race course itself.  It has some modifications from last year which will improve crowd flow and enjoyment of the race.  It will also improve the course for the drivers.  Among other things, the decelerating chicanes on Conway and Pratt Streets will be modified.

Up in the left corner, you can see the most important milestones.

It's less than three weeks until the track starts taking shape, a task that will probably take every bit of the 31 days before the cars hit the track.

Viewing the wonderful pictures (including some great vintage ones of Mario and Michael Andretti during their racing careers,) I was heartened to see there were several from last year's Grand Prix. 

The new promoters, while having their own plans for the 2012 event, greatly appreciate the dynamics that made the Baltimore race experience so positive for the teams.

On thing I had to ask (on behalf of all those Lamborghini lovers drooling in Lot C) was if the the car corrals were coming back.

The answer is a resounding YES!  The Le Mans folks are fully on board, and they will be having their paddock and car corrals between the two stadiums.  This was a huge hit last year for those fans who love high-performance rides they can relate to.  Or even own.

Many thanks to the gracious folks at Andretti who took the time to show me around.  Time is something they budget very carefully with so much to accomplish in the next 54 days.  But they have the talent and energy to get it all done and still make the winner's circle.

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