Who will step in to save the Baltimore race?

At least two entities are expected to submit proposals to the Baltimore City Council in coming weeks with a view to taking control of the promotional duties for the Baltimore IndyCar Grand Prix, currently scheduled as part of the 2012 season to take place on September 2.

As reported recently, the city council terminated the contract of Baltimore Racing Developments (BRD) for failing to comply with demands to restructure and to prove it is capable of paying its debts, now understood to be in the region of $12 million dollars.

Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos has opened the tender process with a view to awarding a contract by mid-February. Racing analysts have said that for a race to be run in September, any new group taking control must be fully in control by March to ensure sufficient time to secure sponsors and to sell tickets.

A source close to the negotiations say that Dale Dillon, who has helped organise IndyCar races in St Petersburg and Toronto is a front-runner to secure the contract to run the Baltimore event. Dillon is also involved with a team trying to stage an IndyCar race in Fort Lauderdale in the near future.

CEO of North American Motorsports Events Inc Geoff Whaling has said he plans to submit a proposal to run the race from 2012 onwards. Whaling has been involved in the past with the late Paul Newman in bringing races to New York and Philadelphia and was also chiefly responsible for designing the festival of events around the Molson Indy event in Toronto that continues as a success today.

Speaking of the Baltimore Grand Prix, Whaling said “I’m interested in ensuring that it continues. I’m really excited by the race’s potential.”

Baltimore City officials have said that they would also be willing to hear from former promoter BRD but only if the company could prove they could become solvent and show a workable plan that they were capable of paying their previous bills and staging the race successfully.

[Article by Matt Lennon; image via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.