Red Bull junior and Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly’s absence from the United States Grand Prix was in vain after the Super Formula season finale was canceled due to a typhoon.
2016 GP2 champion Gasly was placed in Super Formula by Red Bull for 2017, only to be drafted in at Toro Rosso for the Malaysian Grand Prix earlier this month.
Gasly was supposed to see out the F1 season, but a joint call by Red Bull and Honda saw the Frenchman stick to his prior commitments and skip this weekend’s USGP in order to fight for the Super Formula title at Suzuka.
Entering the final race weekend half a point back from series leader Hiroaki Ishiura, Gasly stood a chance of becoming the first rookie Super Formula champion in over 20 years.
However, with heavy rain in the area affecting qualifying, officials at Suzuka announced the remainder of the meeting would be canceled due to a typhoon in the area, declaring Ishiura the 2017 champion.
Gasly’s absence from the USGP has paved the way for Porsche factory driver Brendon Hartley to make his surprise F1 debut with Toro Rosso in Austin, with the New Zealander set to qualify today.
Gasly is due to return to Toro Rosso for the final three races of the F1 season, starting with next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
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.