After more than a decade, Portland welcomed the return of open-wheel racing with the Grand Prix of Portland in 2018. Held from 1984–2007 under various names, the race came back at Portland International Raceway as the only Verizon IndyCar Series race in the Pacific Northwest. It returns again this year (Aug. 30–Sept. 1, 2019), promising three full days of racing and festivities.
Unlike the most famous IndyCar race — the Indianapolis 500 — the Grand Prix of Portland wasn’t on a simple oval. Portland’s 1.967-mile (3.166 km) course boasted 12 turns and several exciting passing opportunities, including a quick chicane at the end of the front stretch, a hard-breaking right leading into the backstretch and a three-turn complex leading back to the front stretch.
“Portland International Raceway has produced thrilling road racing throughout Indy car history — the 1997 finish still stands as the record for the closest finish on a road or street course,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, owners of the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The race weekend included three other races, all featuring aspiring young drivers and new state-of-the-art chassis. While in town, car lovers visited the Portland Art Museum, where the “Shape of Speed” exhibit highlighted 18 rare vehicles from 1930–1942.
Missed the races? Head to World of Speed, a motor racing museum south of Portland where you can get behind the wheel of an IndyCar simulator.