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Baltimore Grand Prix contract terminated, city still expects to hold 2012 race

The city of Baltimore has terminated the five year contract with Baltimore Racing Development, the private company that ran the 2011 Baltimore Grand Prix. Even with the contract terminated, the city is determined to hold the race in 2012.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore Racing Development owes the city around $1.5 million in taxes. The total the company owes is a staggering $12 million to various companies and vendors.

Since the company clearly cannot pay its debts or the city, officials determined that Baltimore Racing Development had violated the terms of the agreement, making the contract void.

City officials now are looking for another group and company to try to put on the Grand Prix. IndyCar organizers still have the race scheduled on Labor Day weekend in 2012.

Many hurdles remain for Baltimore and whoever excepts the challenge of organizing the 2012 race. A relatively short amount of time remains for the company to pull together sponsors, tickets sales, and financing. Whoever takes on the Baltimore Grand Prix in 2012 race analysts expect many goals will need to meet in two months or less.

"The circle of people who have the expertise and experience is very small, and we will only be having discussions with that group of people," said Kaliope Parthemos, the deputy mayor for economic development of Baltimore.

Many groups have approached the city, but obviously as Parthemos states only a small group are really qualified and have the knowledge to run a race like this.

One leader who looks promising to run next year's race is Dale Dillon, who became Baltimore Racing Development's general manager a few weeks before the race. He has put on race successfully in other cities, such as St Petersburg, and Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Many city officials claim Dillon was instrumental in helping get Baltimore race ready for the Grand Prix. However, Dillon's hurdle will be convincing IndyCar organizers and the city he has the financial backing after the disaster with Baltimore Racing Development.

Race organizers I spoke with privately have disclosed it is unlikely he was not part of the discussions and financial mistakes made by the Baltimore Grand Prix. The same organizers said it would be stupid to assume the leaders of Baltimore were not aware of Baltimore Racing Development's financial situation before the race was held as well.

Even if the race does not return next year, Baltimore has some nicely paved streets. I doubt these would have happened unless we had the Grand Prix!

Please contact Adam Yamada-Hanff – [email protected] – for comments, questions, or topics. You can also follow him on Twitter @AdamsAutoAdvice

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