Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Racing to beat the forecast

The roar of engines downtown was as loud as ever Sunday morning for the third and final day of the Grand Prix of Baltimore but was accompanied by cloudy skies and – initially – smaller crowds.

Sunday’s schedule includes the most highly anticipated race of the weekend, but at noon, the grandstands were considerably emptier than Saturday and fewer people milled throughout general admission area.

As the afternoon progressed, however, the crowds began to rival Saturday’s turnout. As the start of the big race neared, the general admission audience appeared larger than it had all weekend, though the grand stands still weren’t full.

Weather remains an concern; Baltimoreans can expect “widespread showers and thunderstorms developing by 3 p.m.” and continuing through the night, with a 60 to 80 percent chance of rain, according to weather.com.

Race organizers and fans have been lucky so far – although intermittent heavy rains pelted those attendees who stuck around through the evening on Saturday, skies were clear and sunny during most of the festivities.

The weather wasn’t favorable to restaurant owners after the race, though. Several said they were hoping attendees would stroll through the city and choose somewhere to settle in for dinner, but the rain caused many people to quickly seek shelter instead.

So how will more rain affect the drivers? If the skies open up over the track, officials said the cars can handle it, so they’ll still hold the title event – the IZOD IndyCar Series Race, scheduled for 2:45 – 5:00 p.m.

But if Baltimore gets a severe storm, that’s another story. So stay tuned.