"The operational side of it and the coordination with the city, we've got," Dillon said. "The marketing aspect of it, we've got a learning curve."

The men declined to say how much money they've put into the race but said they were the only three investors. They will not be taking salaries, although Dillon's company would receive payments as a subcontractor.

The group expressed confidence that the race would be profitable, but would not say whether they expected to turn a profit in the first year.

"We expect to make money doing this," Reck said. "We're not doing this on a purely charitable basis."

The Downforce Team called the contract, as negotiated, a "good deal for everyone involved."

The contract, which is to go before the city's five-member spending board next week, demands considerably less money from Downforce Racing than the previous contract asked from Baltimore Racing Development.

The contract levies a $3 fee on each ticket sold to pay for city services. Assuming 110,000 tickets are sold — the number of tickets purchased last year — the new company would pay $330,000 for city services such as firefighters and police officers detailed to the event. The city charged the previous group $500,000 for city services, and later tacked on a $250,000 fee for public safety costs.

City officials said they were confident that the new group, under Dillon's leadership, would utilize significantly fewer city workers than Baltimore Racing Development.

Moreover, the new team would not be required to pay the $250,000 racing fee that the city charged Baltimore Racing Development.

And, while the old team was forced to pay $100,000 to a community impact fund for neighborhoods along the race route, the new group would be assessed a 50 cent fee for each ticket sold for that fund. Assuming 110,000 tickets are sold, that means that about $55,000 would go to the fund.

City officials touted the race's economic benefits and said that continuing the race was the best way to recoup more than $7 million that Baltimore has invested in preparing roads for the race and other costs associated with the racing festival.

The contract does not require Downforce Racing to pay back the debts Baltimore Racing Development owes to the Maryland Stadium Authority, the state's quasi-public economic development arm, or a half-dozen contractors and private investors. Several vendors have sued Baltimore Racing Development over unpaid bills, but it's unlikely that vendors as well as city and state taxpayers will recoup their losses.

The contract does ask Downforce to give preference to last year's vendors as much as possible, but does not require the new group to work exclusively with the companies who were not paid last year.

Dillon said the team will post all bids on the company website to solicit contractors. While the contract suggests goals for hiring local companies and minority- and women-owned firms, they are not legally binding, city officials said.

"It will be up to us to decide who the most qualified contractors are," he said.

The Downforce team said they planned to avoid one of the previous group's public relations snafus — cutting down trees along the race course.

City officials said they are in discussions with IndyCar and its sponsors to replant the approximately three dozen trees that were chopped down to clear the way for last year's race.

Dillon said he expected increased economic impact from the race this year. He said news coverage of the race's financial troubles will help increase ticket sales.

"Unfortunately, there's been all kinds of news related to this event," he said. "The good news is that helps sell tickets. Any news will help generate sales."

The new team expressed high ambitions for the race, which was lauded last year by drivers and IndyCar executives seeking a toehold in the Mid-Atlantic region.