Formula E officials have confirmed the planned race in Sao Paulo on March 17 has been postponed until next season due to planning problems.
Sao Paulo was originally listed on Formula E’s season four calendar upon its first release in June, only for doubts about its running to arise in recent weeks.
As confirmed by a Formula E spokesperson on Thursday, the race has now been canceled due to ongoing privatization of property in the area, leading to local organizers requesting its postponement.
“The Sao Paulo city authorities have asked us to postpone the race to season five, due to an ongoing process of privatization of the Anhembi Park venue,” the spokesperson said.
“Racing in city centers always poses challenges and as this process is taking longer than expected, in agreement with the city of Sao Paulo, we’ve decided to place negotiations on standby until the privatization process is complete – with the city specifying their desire to be considered on the calendar for next year.
“In the meantime, we’ve prepared an alternative solution for this season that will be formally presented to the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris next week.”
With a replacement round set to be confirmed, the 2017/18 Formula E calendar will therefore remain at 14 rounds, starting with the double-header in Hong Kong this weekend.
Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”
The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.
“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”
Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.