SBD/May 1, 2012/Events and Attractions

IndyCar Looking For New Organizer To Handle Labor Day Race In Baltimore

IndyCar could take over management of the Baltimore Grand Prix
IndyCar is “seeking a new team to take over the Baltimore Grand Prix,” according to Julie Scharper of the Baltimore SUN. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard yesterday said leaders of the racing series "are currently visiting with some potential partners or promoters" who could put on the Labor Day weekend racing event. He said that IndyCar, if necesssary, would “take over the management of the race directly.” Downforce Racing LLC -- the team city officials “had picked to manage the race after the collapse of last year's organizers -- has not begun marketing the event or selling tickets.” Downforce made “no apparent progress toward meeting two rounds of benchmarks set by city officials.” It also failed to meet “three of the five benchmarks set for March 15, including signing agreements with IndyCar and the Maryland Stadium Authority.” Sources said that the “three members of the racing group -- Indianapolis-based contractor Dale Dillon and Baltimore businessmen Dan Reck and Felix Dawson -- are locked in a struggle.” Sources said that “Dawson and Reck, who are business partners in Wilkes Lane Capital, a Baltimore investment firm, want Dillon out of the group.” Dillon, who “owns a 50 percent stake of the company, has declined to leave.” Bernard pointed out that while Baltimore officials signed a contract with Downforce, IndyCar “never signed a contract with the company.” He added that it is “free to craft a deal with a new group.” Speed’s Robin Miller said the end of May had to be "D-Day" for the Baltimore race. He said that he “believed IndyCar would go to great lengths to ensure the race happens.” Miller: "If IndyCar has to be the promoter, there will be a Baltimore race. I can assure you that they will spend what they need to spend" (Baltimore SUN, 5/1).
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