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City OKs contract with new Baltimore Grand Prix team

Baltimore City’s spending panel Wednesday morning approved a new, five-year racing agreement with Race On LLC to run the Baltimore Grand Prix beginning this September. City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young was the only member of the five-member Board of Estimates to vote against the agreement.

Race On, a minority-owned company, will contract with Andretti Sports Marketing to run the commercial and operational portions of the race.

“The 2011 Grand Prix was an international event that showcased Baltimore,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, after the vote was taken. “It had a $47 million economic impact on our local economy…and brought visitors from 70 countries. The Race On group will provide $250,000 in community impact funds … and will do what it takes to make this successful in Baltimore.”

The mayor called on Gregory K. O’Neill, a local contractor and vice president of BMW Construction Specialists Inc. who is going to do marketing for the Grand Prix event, and J.P. Grant, president of Grant Capital Management, and thanked them for stepping forward to help with the event that was shrouded by controversy and uncertainty under the former contracts with Downforce Racing LLC and Baltimore Racing Development.

The city terminated both agreements over the past year following controversy.