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Brussels Formula E race in need of new location after city vote

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Formula E is searching for a new location for the Brussels ePrix after city officials in the Belgian capital voted against hosting the race at its planned venue in July.

Brussels was listed on Formula E’s season three calendar when it was unveiled last summer, acting as the final European race of the campaign before the two North American rounds in New York and Montreal to close out the season.

The race was initially planned to take place in the Heysel part of the city, only for a revised layout to be released that sat closer to the center of Brussels in Koekelberg.

However, the regional government voted against holding the race in Koekelberg on Thursday, with pressures placed on the city in holiday season being cited as the main reason for the rejection.

Belgium’s minister for mobility Pascal Smet tweeted that there was still an agreement in principle for the race to be held in Brussels this year, but that a new location needed to be found.

“Formula E can be in Brussles but not in Koekelberg,” Smet wrote. “Too complicated. Agreement in principle to organize an ePrix in Brussels but not at Koekelberg.”

Despite this setback, Formula E has stressed that it still has an agreement to race in Brussels this summer, subject to a suitable location being found. The series is continuing to assess its options for the event.

The news comes just days after city officials in Berlin voted against Formula E returning to the city center for season three, forcing another location change for the race.

The Brussels ePrix is scheduled to take place on July 1.

Former 5-time ALMS and Le Mans-winning team owner Dave Maraj killed in accident

Photo courtesy Dave Maraj Facebook page
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Well-known sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Dave Maraj was killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Florida, according to SportsCar365.com.

Maraj’s Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

IMSA President Scott Atherton released the following statement mourning Maraj’s passing:

Dave Maraj. Photo courtesy IMSA.

“All of us at IMSA are shocked and saddened by the news of Dave Maraj’s passing. As a team owner in the American Le Mans Series, Dave and his Champion Racing organization were the epitome of professionalism and excellence, as their five series championships and 24 Hours of Le Mans victory will attest.

“Dave was a tremendous competitor and a great friend to all in the paddock throughout his time in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of his associates at Champion Motors.”

Maraj was a very successful automobile dealership owner, most notably Champion Motors and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach, Florida, the latter considered the No. 1 Porsche dealer in the U.S.

Details of how Maraj died have not been released.

Maraj sold his racing operation after the 2008 season and devoted himself to his Porsche and Audi auto dealerships, as well as competitive sailing.