Photo courtesy Matt Brabham Media

Matt Brabham to race this weekend in Australia, still seeking 2017 IndyCar ride

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Before he returns to the United States, Matt Brabham has some unfinished business back home in Australia.

The 22-year-old grandson of Formula One icon Sir Jack Brabham and son of former driver Geoff Brabham, the third generation driver will compete as a “guest driver” in this weekend’s Toyota 86 Racing Series event in Sydney, the undercard race to the season-ending Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

As a guest driver, Brabham will also serve as a driving coach to young Australian and New Zealand drivers, many that came up through the karting ranks. It will be Brabham’s final race of any type for 2016.

“It will be a bit different being in the coaching role as well as being a competitor in the Series, but having seen some of the races this year, I think it might be me asking some of these guys for some tips,” Brabham said in a media release. “It has been super competitive and some enjoyable racing.”

Brabham will be one of three guest drivers, the other two being Australian racers Jonathon Webb, who won the recent Bathurst 12 Hour race, and Alex Davison, who won the Bathurst 1000.

This has been the inaugural season for the Toyota 86 Racing Series, a driver development program for those aspiring to one day reach higher levels of racing.

All of this weekend’s races will be on a street course through Sydney’s Olympic Park. It’s the same street course that Brabham raced on last year in a Stadium Super Truck.

Last year’s event was also the same weekend that Brabham announced he would make his first appearance in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 (he ultimately finished 22nd). He also competed in the Angie’s List Grand Prix at Indianapolis, finishing 16th.

Brabham is hoping that ongoing efforts to secure a full-time ride for 2017 in the Verizon Indy Car Series will bear similar fruit in the near future.

“The conversations have been ongoing while I’ve been in Australia,” he said. “There are still a couple of opportunities floating about and hopefully I can be in a position to line-up for the first round of the IndyCar season next year.”

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Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.