Despite many hailing this year’s inaugural street race at Baltimore a success, doubts have been cast over its immediate future with city officials threatening to withdraw their support for it, claiming they are still owed money by the race’s organisers.
The city’s deputy mayor Kaliope Parthemos (pictured right) told The Associated Press that the organising company, Baltimore Racing Development, was in breach of its contract over unpaid monies to the city council.
“[It must] work immediately to pay debts owed to the City and State … aggressively work to repay any debts to vendors, and present a restructured company and management team, or the City will terminate its contract with BRD,” she said.
It is believed that the council is owed some $1.5 million to cover its associated costs of preparatory road works, as well as the provision of police and parking officials to assist with the race weekend. The city council has given a deadline until New Year’s Eve to receive all monies owed to it, or it will tear up the five-year contract to stage the event on the city’s streets.
It is also believed that BRD is behind in a further $300,000 in payments to other vendors, amid claims that the lack of title sponsorship for the race hit its bottom line.
One certainly hopes that the situation can be resolved quickly. Despite some delays getting the circuit ready, this year’s inaugural race had drivers praising the circuit’s challenging layout. Over 160,000 fans flocked to the circuit over the three-day event, which saw Penske driver Will Power take a comfortable lights-to-flag victory.
[Images via LAT and UMBC]
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