Brasilia IndyCar race is canceled

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The Verizon IndyCar Series will not open its 2015 season in Brasilia, Brazil, as anticipated.

INDYCAR issued a statement late Thursday night that read:

Today’s announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasília was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing. INDYCAR had received every indication that the race was already a success: Two-thirds of the seats available for the event had already been sold; a title sponsor for the event (ITAIPAVA) was announced yesterday; hospitality was sold out; and track construction was progressing and scheduled to be complete in time for the event. Although we have not received formal confirmation from our partners in Brazil regarding the cancellation, economically INDYCAR is protected and the paddock is protected from such action.

An earlier statement Thursday from INDYCAR read:

BAND announced today that the race scheduled for March 8 in Brasilia has been cancelled.  This comes as a great disappointment, and we will have further comment when we have had the opportunity to talk with all of our partners and the authorities in Brazil.

A statement from the Brazilian race organizers earlier in the day said the race has been canceled.

A couple of drivers, including Brazilian Helio Castroneves, have already weighed in on the news.

Track designer Tony Cotman was in Brazil as recently as yesterday updating track construction progress.

Cotman later posted this update on Thursday:

As it relates to the series’ schedule, right now that knocks it down from 17 races to 16. St. Petersburg, set for March 29, would take over as the 2015 season opener.