A disciplined business plan aimed at easing the concerns of vendors and contractors is central to a new partnership between the City of Baltimore and Downforce Racing, a consortium of businessmen who have been selected to take on promotional duties for the beleaguered Baltimore Indycar Grand Prix from 2012 through 2016.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake selected the group, consisting of two Baltimore-based entrepreneurs Felix Dawson and Daniel Reck, who operate under the business Wilkes Lane Racing, and Indianapolis-based construction executive Dale Dillon, owner of Dillon Racing and whom we recently reported was understood to be involved.
The overall business acumen of the group was said to have been the aspect of the pitch which impressed Mayor Rawlings-Blake the most, as well as prior credentials and experience in race management and operations, and superior financial management capabilities. The new group expect to focus on maintaining the event as a staple of the city’s Labour Day weekend celebrations and to eventually make it “the premiere street racing event in North America”.
Dillon is no stranger to promoting racing events. He was brought in to manage last year’s Baltimore event mere weeks before it was held, so he knows first-hand the problems the previous promoter, Baltimore Racing Development experienced and how to avoid them with better preparation this time around. Dillon has previously served in a Head Operations role for both the Grands Prix of St Petersburg and also in Toronto.
First challenge on the horizon, which the group have said they are well underway with is finding a title sponsor, before trying to lure back the vendors and contractors, many of whom went unpaid and were badly burnt by the experience with the previous promoter.
The 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix, on the surface, was an outstanding success, with fantastic crowds, a multitude of live entertainment, and an outstanding race victory by Will Power and Team Penske.