The Grand Prix of Portland is an annual motor race that takes place in Portland, Oregon every year. It is part of the IndyCar Series, the top level of open-wheel racing in North America. The Portland International Raceway serves as the track for the race.
The Grand Prix first began in 1984 when it was started as a CART series race. The Portland International Raceway is a 1.967-mile road course that consists of 12 turns and is relatively flat. Al Unser Jr. was the winner of the first race.
It continued to be held every year until 2007 and then took a ten-year hiatus. The race returned in 2018 as part of the IndyCar series. Initially, the title sponsor for the event was G.I. Joe's sporting goods and auto parts store. In 2018, Green Savoree Racing Promotions began promoting the race.
The road course in Portland is known for being the venue for some of the closest finishes in car racing history. The all-time records for the closest two-car and three-car race finishes were set here. This history makes the Grand Prix of Portland one of the must-experience events on every motor racing enthusiast’s list. RV motorists will appreciate being able to camp near the track's path for an incredible viewing experience.
Guests can choose between General Admission and Grandstand tickets. For Grandstand tickets, there are different tiers available like Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Single-day passes are also available. They range in price from $20 (General Admission single-day pass) to $1200 (three-day RV Club pass with tickets for a group).
The RV club passes include multiple General Admission tickets, multiple three-day Paddock Passes, and one tow vehicle parking pass. Children under the age of 12 can enter the General Admission areas for free but will require a ticket for the reserved Grandstand areas. For additional information on tickets and updated pricing, take a look at the festival website.
The Portland International Raceway is centrally located with the Columbus River to the north marking the border between Oregon and Washington. It is just ten minutes from the downtown area and the Portland International Airport.
If you’re driving into the city by car or RV, you will likely drive along Interstate 5 to arrive near the raceway. You’ll see the track on the west of the freeway. TripCheck is a helpful resource for travelers in the Oregon area for road and weather alerts.
There are a limited number of paid onsite parking spots available. You’ll need to act fast to get your hands on these. There are also some offsite parking options like the lots at the Portland Expo Center and Rose Quarter. Shuttle services are usually available from these locations to the event venue.
The most convenient way to get to the raceway is often by taking the Interstate Max light rail. You’ll need to ride the yellow line that goes towards the Exposition Center. The nearest stop is the Delta Park/Vanport MAX Station, which is walking distance from the gates of the venue. You also have the option is taking a taxi or using a ride-sharing app.
There are a number of RV camping spots available at the venue. You can choose to camp by the trackside or pick a row that’s further away. Camping is primitive and electrical, water, or sewage hookups are not available. Generators are available for rent and sanitation services can be purchased for an additional fee.
If you’d prefer to camp closer to nature or would be comfortable with more facilities, there are several campsites in the region. The nearest RV park is about two miles away. If you’re willing to drive a bit further away, you can enjoy being in the middle of beautiful forests or right by the river. These may also come with more facilities than you’ll find at the raceway.
Personal vehicles like skateboards, rollerblades, bicycles, scooters, and skates will not be allowed beyond the gates. Pedestrians will only be able to cross the tracks near the start/finish line under certain guidelines. Most parts of the venue are wheelchair navigable. There is an ADA priority viewing area in General Admission, with accessible viewing platforms in the Grandstands.
It’s typically quite warm and sunny in late August and early September. Lightweight summer clothing is your best bet. You’re likely to be walking quite a bit on dry, dusty terrain. So, avoid wearing sandals or open-toed shoes or have a change of shoes just for your campsite. Opt for flat, comfortable closed shoes for use in the main walkways.
You’ll be able to carry in coolers, and small amounts of food. Glass containers and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Some of the vendors may not be set up for cashless transactions. So, it's a good idea to carry some cash to purchase food, drinks, or merchandise. Other essentials to take are sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, bug spray, a portable charger, and listening devices or ear protection.
It is important to be vigilant when crossing the track spaces. If you’re with young children, ensure that they are supervised at all times. Smoking on the grounds or standing on the grandstand seats are not permitted activities. Water will be available for purchase, so make sure you stay hydrated at all times.
Cooking is only allowed on the stove in your RV or on a portable propane grill. In the past, the flame height has not been allowed to be higher than four inches. Wood campfires and ground fires are strictly prohibited. Be sure to carry any supplies you need with you, since exiting the venue after you’ve parked your RV at your assigned site can be difficult.
Portland is a great culinary destination for food lovers from all over the world. You’ll find great restaurants, bars, and cafes for every budget in the city. There are many different cuisines to choose from in this eclectic community, so consider trying some of the delicious Indian, Spanish, and Thai food on offer during your stay.
Vendors will be selling fan-friendly food and drinks at the Grand Prix of Portland. There will be a central concessions area where snacks and meals can be purchased. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be on sale as well. Guests need to be at least 21 to buy alcohol.
Security personnel will be conducting thorough bag checks at the entrances. Guests will be required to open any bags or containers for inspection. Check the list of prohibited items to make sure you’re not carrying anything that’s banned. Any items that are deemed a risk to the safety of patrons or staff will not be allowed into the venue.
Passes are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged. The racing will continue through light showers and rain. In the rare event of severe weather, a race may be postponed. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the official Portland International Raceway website and social media accounts to see if any weather or road alerts have been issued.
There will be a number of First Aid stations located throughout the premises. Portable toilets, including accessible facilities, will be available. Medically necessary items will be allowed in on a case by case basis. For any questions related to the accessibility of the venue, patrons can head to the customer service trailer or contact the festival organizers directly.