Michael Andretti Heads a Group Hoping to Take Over the Baltimore Grand Prix

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIMay 11, 2012

The streets of Baltimore race could be saved by Andretti
The streets of Baltimore race could be saved by AndrettiJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Baltimore Grand Prix, set for Labor Day weekend, September 2, has been in trouble and the very future of the race has been in doubt.

Things took a very interesting turn late Thursday afternoon and with the help of one the biggest names in racing, the Baltimore race could be saved.

In an announcement issued via email press release to the author Thursday afternoon, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a proposed five-year agreement with Race On LLC and Andretti Sports Marketing.  

The deal is pending City Council Board of Estimates approval, but it would assure the race would be run Labor Day weekend as scheduled on the street course through “Charm City.”

Michael Andretti is the key man in Andretti Sports Marketing and a member of one of auto racing’s most decorated families, and is playing a key role in taking over the management of the event.

The Mayor’s office, in their announcement, declared Andretti Sports Marketing will provide a "turn-key" solution, including sponsorships, public relations, marketing, hospitality, ticket sales, track construction, grandstand layout and logistics.

By combining our decades of motorsports expertise with the substantial backing of local investors and community support, we believe the Grand Prix of Baltimore can become one of the most prominent sporting events on the Eastern Seaboard.

According to IndyCar.com, Race On—a Maryland-based, minority owned company—and Andretti Sports Marketing have already been given the approval by the IndyCar Series and the American LeMans group to promote and execute the Baltimore Grand Prix.    

The Baltimore Business Journal reported the city will make the proper moves to have Downforce Racing, who held the contract for managing Baltimore Grand Prix 2012, replaced by Race On and the Andretti group.

An official vote on the new management team will come this Wednesday when the Baltimore City Board of Estimates meets.

Barring any last minute glitch in the deal, Race On LLC and Andretti Sports Marketing will become the new race managers and promoters of the Baltimore Grand Prix will become official.