SBD/January 6, 2012/Events and Attractions

At Least Two Groups To Submit Proposals To Run Next Year's Baltimore Grand Prix

Potential buyers have until Saturday to submit a bid for the race

Several groups are "angling to seize control of Baltimore's Grand Prix as city officials seek a new management team in the wake of the financial collapse of the company that organized the inaugural race," according to Scharper & Broadwater of the Baltimore SUN. Sources said that "at least two teams -- each headed by a former organizer of IndyCar races elsewhere -- plan to submit proposals to take over the racing festival." Others, including the "head of an Owings Mills-based contracting company and a former racecar driver, have expressed interest." Deputy Mayor Kaliope Parthemos said that she has "asked interested parties to submit a proposal by Saturday." The city "announced last week that it was severing its contract with Baltimore Racing Development." Sources said that Indianapolis-based Dillon Construction Group Owner Dale Dillon "has emerged as a front-runner to take over the racing contract." Dillon has "helped organize IndyCar races in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Toronto and is part of a team trying to bring a race to Fort Lauderdale, Fla." He "served as Baltimore Racing Development's general manager in the final weeks before the race, and many in city government saw him as the savior of the event." Sources said that Dillon is "in talks with Felix Dawson, a former Constellation Energy executive, who could help manage and fund the race." Meanwhile, North American Motorsport Events Inc. CEO Geoff Whaling said that he "plans to submit a proposal to manage the race in 2012 by Saturday's deadline." Whaling "partnered with actor Paul Newman to bring urban races to New York and Philadelphia." He "declined to reveal details of his proposal for the Baltimore event, but said he planned to run it as a nonprofit." Racing analysts say that the new group "must take over by March to prepare for an event in September" (Baltimore SUN, 1/6).

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