HOUSTON -

For the next three days the Space City turns into the Race City.

The Grand Prix Houston got underway at NRG Park Friday. The three-day event brings in champion racers from around the world. It features a 1.7-mile track around the park complex, and cars are expected to reach up to 180 mph. The three-race series includes: IndyCar Series, The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tire, and The Mazda MX 5 Cup.

The event also features many family-friendly activities. The Family Fun Zone allows children of all ages to enjoy interactive displays in the IndyCar Fan Village, inflatables, master jugglers, face painters and balloon artists.

If you want to cool down, you can head inside to the Shell Mobility Experience. Children can visit different stations -- from an interactive car racing video game to building your own mini eco-marathon car that runs on salt water.

On Friday, dozens of math and science teachers learned all about how to build an engine. The teachers broke up into teams and each had 20 minutes to show how much of an engine they could build in that time.
“It’s just to give them an understanding of how complex an engine is and what our scientists have to know in order to build the high-quality products,” said Shell employee Katie Floyd.
The Grand Prix will also host live music throughout the entire weekend. Local and regional bands will perform on two stages at various times during the events.

The Grand Prix Houston will be open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.