8:21 p.m. EDT, April 4, 2012
With the second Baltimore Grand Prix less than five months away, organizers of the race have yet to sign key agreements, land sponsorship deals, launch a marketing campaign or start selling tickets.
Downforce Racing LLC has not fulfilled three of five benchmarks that its contract with the city required to be done three weeks ago. The contract, drawn up following the financial debacle of last year's race, was designed to prevent the new racing group from falling into the same problems as the previous organizers.
Yet, as the Labor Day weekend racing festival approaches, the new race team finds itself further behind than its predecessors were last year. The previous group had sold tens of thousands of tickets and signed on many small sponsors by April.
And Downforce has not finalized contracts with Indycar or with the Maryland Stadium Authority.
In an email apparently sent to The Baltimore Sun by mistake, an attorney for the stadium authority noted that the delayed contract could "present some PR problems" for the race group and advised the authority spokeswoman to "refrain discussing this with the Sun."
"At this point, I would give the Sun no information until we find out if [Downforce Racing] has the necessary signatures," Cynthia M. Hahn, an assistant state's attorney, said in an email to the stadium authority's spokeswoman.
Neither Hahn nor stadium authority officials responded to inquiries as to why the agency was concerned with protecting Downforce or concealing information from The Sun