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Hong Kong Formula E track layout unchanged for season four opener

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The street course used for the Formula E race in Hong Kong will remain unchanged for this December’s opening round of the all-electric series’ fourth season.

Hong Kong hosted Formula E for the very first time last October with a course in the Central district of the city state, with Sebastien Buemi becoming the maiden victor.

Just days after the conclusion of Formula E’s third campaign in Montreal, the series kicked off proceedings for its fourth season with a launch event in Hong Kong.

Despite facing some criticism for the disruption caused for locals in Hong Kong, officials confirmed at the event that the layout would remain unchanged for the double-header race weekend, taking place on December 2-3.

Efforts were made to adapt the circuit and make it longer in order to pose more of a challenge to drivers, but the compact course used in season three will remain unchanged.

“We tried many ways working with all the Hong Kong departments to see how we could lengthen the track. Unfortunately, we couldn’t,” Alan Fang, chief executive of Formula Electric Racing, told the South China Morning Post.

“It’s very difficult to widen the track to four lanes. The circuit will pretty much stay the same but there a few turns and things that the FIA is working on to refine it and make it safer and more competitive.”

The race promoters are set to open up the fan eVillage for free this year, giving more fans the opportunity to sample Formula E, as well as more than doubling the capacity for fans.

“We sold quite a number of tickets over two days. Each day there were about 10,000 fans in the eVillage,” Fang said.

“We had comments that the people going to eVillage didn’t get a view of the track and it costs money [to get in] as well.

“Unfortunately, due to the large number of spectators coming in, it’s difficult to open up all the tracks. It’s not like a circuit track where we actually can leave space between the fence and the audience.

“So we will keep it that way, but we’ll let them enjoy the eVillage for free.”

Hong Kong will act as the curtain-raiser for a 14-race calendar for Formula E’s fourth season, finishing up in Montreal once again in July 2018.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship unlikely to run this season in U.S.

Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship
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The US-based Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship circuit has reportedly parked itself and the pending 2018 season. According to various reports including AutoWeek, AutoSport.com and Motorsport.com, the Red Bull-sponsored GRC has suspended operations.

MotorSportsTalk reached out to a GRC spokesman for comment and further details.

It appears that all GRC-related websites, including its home page, as well as the site to order tickets to races this season, are unavailable. The series’ Twitter account @GRCseries remains, but hasn’t tweeted since April 13.

New York’s Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway, which was to host the GRC’s season-opening event (the original Louisville opener in mid-May was cancelled), issued a statement on its Twitter account:

Several GRC teams said at the end of last season that they would not return to the series, including teams from Honda, Volkswagen and Subaru.

It is expected that the GRC Europe series will continue working on its 2019 campaign.

It’s unclear whether teams that are no longer with the GRC U.S. series will move to a new series backed by IMG known as “Americas Rallycross Championship.” The ARC is slated to kick off as part of next month’s World Rallycross event at Silverstone in Great Britain.

Other ARC events, also tied into WRC events, will be at Trois-Rivieres in Canada on August 4-5, and at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29-30. A fourth event is still in the works.

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