The Red Bull Global Rallycross began racing in 2011. Scott Speed, above, won the last three drivers’ championships.PHOTO BY RED BULL CONTENT POOL
Red Bull Global Rallycross has ceased operations for the 2018 season and is dealing with a litany of unpaid bills in the wake of its closure.
The Red Bull-sponsored short-course rally sanctioning body told tracks on Tuesday that it would not promote events this season, ending a tumultuous offseason for the Colin Dyne-owned entity. Several tracks have revealed unpaid vendor bills or revenue share commitments since the conclusion of the 2017 season.
The first public signs of turmoil became apparent in February when the Rockcliffe Flying Club, hosts of GRC Ottawa in Canada, claimed an unpaid vendor bill of $20,000. Dyne claimed it was an accounting oversight and the Rockcliffe Flying Club received a check within eight hours of the unpaid bill becoming public.
The Detroit News revealed on Monday that Michigan state officials are threatening to take legal action against the series over an unpaid $76,000 fee for the event GRC hosted on Belle Isle in July 2015. In the report, the Department of Natural Resources, managers of the state park, claims to have made numerous attempts to collect the said fee that intends to fund park improvements like bathroom upgrades and sidewalk repairs.
Meanwhile, Autoweek learned over the weekend that Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is also seeking $29,000 in unpaid revenue sharing agreement for the event held at the Connecticut short track and road course venue in June of last season.
Speedway owner Jon Hoenig says after weeks of attempting to reach Dyne, GRC eventually sent him a check for $6,000 of the original $36,000 revenue split agreement. Hoenig said GRC has ceased all contact with him since sending him the abbreviated check.
Additionally, Hoenig said the unpaid bill stings because in addition to losing out on $30,000, his speedway also was unable to rent the oval out for testing or the road course for a track day, a revenue stream that could earn up to $50,000 on a healthy week. But GRC took over the entire facility in the days leading up to the GRC event, and now Hoenig has nothing to show for it.
“They have a reputation of not paying their bills and taking advantage of smaller facilities, like ours,” Hoenig told Autoweek. “It’s not so much about the money they still owe us but the opportunity we lost to open the track to other customers.
“We trusted them because of their initial reputation and their partnership with Red Bull. We thought they were reputable. They promised us a five-year deal with this revenue split.”
Autoweek reached out to Dyne and GRC via email and phone but received no response. In the Detroit News report, GRC organizers say they refused to pay the fee because the state caused them to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in ticket sales when they didn’t close Belle Isle to those without paid admission.
“My ticket sales were dismal,” Dyne said. “This is not how people do business. You (Michigan) do not deserve the balance of your money.”
Now, the matter has been turned over to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, which said it will explore other options that may include litigation.