LON­DON EPRIX TO LOSE 2017 EVENT

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Lon­don is set to be dropped from For­mula E’s 2016/17 cal­en­dar, de­spite the se­ries ex­pect­ing to get the green light for this sea­son’s ti­tle de­cider as MN closed for press.

Se­ries CEO Ale­jan­dro Agag said he was confident it would win its fight to keep its sched­uled Bat­tersea Park fi­nale in July, with a cru­cial ju­di­cial re­view sched­uled for yes­ter­day (Tues­day).

Op­po­nents to the July 2/3 race raised £20,000 through crowd­fund­ing to help bring a claim against Wandsworth Coun­cil’s clo­sure of the park and the plan­ning con­sent around the event. Agag said he was “not 100 per cent be­cause there’s a ques­tion, but I’m quite op­ti­mistic and I have good rea­sons”.

It is un­der­stood the se­ries wished to be granted per­mis­sion to go ahead with this sea­son’s race, be­cause prepa­ra­tions for the event are un­der way, on the con­di­tion it does not re­turn to Bat­tersea Park in the fu­ture.

Agag said “it’s too early to tell” when asked if the se­ries would re­main in Bat­tersea.

The se­ries, its part­ners and its teams view a Lon­don race as a key part of the cal­en­dar but are will­ing to omit it for one sea­son with the in­ten­tion of re­turn­ing with an event in the heart of the city it­self.

Agag said “there was a good chance” of the se­ries be­ing able to pull off some­thing akin to the pre­vi­ous two races in the cen­tre of the French and Ger­man cap­i­tals. “You need to race in a lo­ca­tion com­pa­ra­ble to Berlin and Paris,” he said.

“The dream would be [a track com­pris­ing] the Mall and Horse Guards Pa­rade.”

FE is set to add mar­quee dou­ble-headers in New York and Mon­treal – and as many as four other new races – to the cal­en­dar for sea­son three but the Lon­don dilemma is sym­bolic of its strug­gle to lock down reg­u­lar venues in key ter­ri­to­ries.

The 2016/17 sched­ule could have a prob­lem­atic be­gin­ning if a pro­posed Novem­ber race in Mar­rakech does not come off, be­cause it could mean the curtain-raiser takes pace in early Oc­to­ber in Hong Kong and the next round is not un­til De­cem­ber.

Lon­don is likely not to host FE in 2017

Agag: 2016 is go

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