Fast and Furious: Red Bull still owes for racing event, flying club says

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UPDATE: Almost eight hours after this story was posted on Friday, the Rockcliffe Flying Club received a check for the full amount owed.


Seven months after the start of the Red Bull Global Rallycross from Ottawa, the Rockcliffe Flying Club, one of the hosts, says he still has not been paid $ 20,000.

Incredibly frustrating. For a small non-profit like us, [it’s] a huge blow to our ability to pay our staff.– Chris Ricci, General Manager and Chief Flight Instructor at Rockcliffe Flying Club

“Incredibly frustrating,” said Chris Ricci, General Manager and Chief Flight Instructor. “For a small non-profit organization like us, [it’s] a huge blow to our ability to pay our staff. “

The racing car series featuring Supercar drivers from around the world drew thousands of spectators to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum last June for two days of racing. The event was promoted as a signature Ottawa 2017 event.

The Rockcliffe Flying Club closed its runway – its main source of income – for five days so the series could make its Canadian debut.

Staff were paid overtime to move planes and take down panels and lighting to accommodate the race track, pits and event vehicles, he said.

“At the end of the day, [we] received absolutely nothing for it, ”said Ricci. “In fact, we lost five days of income. “

The club expected to be paid before Rallycross organizers started setting up the track, Ricci said. But the series workers arrived a few days earlier without notice and started working.

At the end of the event, the organizers left and still had not paid the bill, according to Ricci.

Over the past seven months, the flying club has harassed Red Bull and the organizers of the Global Rallycross (GRC) to pay. But Ricci said they haven’t received so many phone calls or emails indicating when this might happen.

Chris Ricci is General Manager and Chief Flight Instructor at Rockliffe Flying Club. (Ashley Burke / CBC)

Check sent after six months, depending on the company

It was only after CBC News contacted GRC on Thursday that Ricci said he finally heard from the company.

Chip Pankow, founder and COO of Global Rallycross, told CBC News in an email that the company paid the bill in January.

“Rockcliffe got a check earlier this month,” Pankow wrote.

But Ricci told Global Rallycross on Thursday that Rockcliffe Flying Club staff check mail daily and never received that envelope.
Red Bull Global Rally Cross claims to have sent a check six months after the event in Ottawa to the Rockcliffe Flying Club. The club said they never received it. (Red Bull Global Rally Cross)

Hours later, RCMP said it had further investigated the matter and said the January 4 check was apparently never received.

The company said it was now voiding that check and reissuing a new one and mailing it “immediately”.

Ricci is not impressed.

“It’s a bit surprising and practical that within minutes of being contacted by a reporter, there is suddenly a check in the mail,” Ricci said.

GRC did not respond to questions from CBC about why it took the company more than six months to settle the bill and why it had not responded to the flying club by Thursday.

Suppliers Get Paid, According to Ottawa Director 2017

Ottawa 2017 official Guy Laflamme said he heard about the flying club problem a month ago and was assured by Red Bull that “they are fixing this problem”.

He said he was not aware of any other vendors who had not been paid.

“All of our suppliers with substantiated invoices were paid promptly,” Laflamme wrote in an email to CBC News.

Steve Ball, co-chair of the Ottawa 2017 board of directors, said talks are underway for several 2017 events to return to 2018, including the Global Rallycross Race.


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