The one-time face of Boston’s planned IndyCar event is part of a team now exploring a potential race in Oklahoma City — revelations that come months after he stepped down as head of Boston’s organizing group to take on a “lesser” role.
Mark Perrone, who served as chief executive officer of the Boston Grand Prix until late last year, said he is working with promoter Joe Mattioli in the “exploratory” stages of bringing racing to Oklahoma City, where the city council reportedly gave them rights to develop plans there.
Perrone was an early driving force in reaching an agreement last year with Mayor Martin Walsh for organizers to bring IndyCar racing to the Seaport for up to five years. The Grand Prix of Boston is scheduled to run through a temporary 2.2-mile (3.52-kilometer) street course over Labor Day weekend, and last week, promoters inked several crucial agreements obligating them to cover $16.5 million in costs to city and state agencies.
But officials said in December that Perrone was taking a “lesser role,” citing health concerns, and ceding day-to-day control to Grand Prix president John Casey.
Perrone said to this point, no Boston Grand Prix officials are involved in the pursuit of an Oklahoma City race. But he noted, “Would they have that option if things develop? Of course we’d talk to them.”
Harry-Jacques Pierre, a spokesman for Boston Grand Prix, said race organizers are focused only on this year’s event in Boston.
Race officials and Perrone also differed in describing Perrone’s current involvement in Boston. Perrone said he no longer has an “official capacity in the Grand Prix hierarchy,” but that he has a contract he signed in February to serve as a special adviser to the group.
Casey confirmed race organizers did sign a contract with Perrone. But he added, “He does not have an active role, either as a participant or as a consultant.”
James Henderson, Perrone’s attorney, said the contract runs through the end of this year’s event in September. “Whether John Casey wants to call him a consultant or not a consultant, it’s an agreement,” Henderson said.