The Australian Supercars championship’s inaugural Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix round has been cancelled, series officials have confirmed.
The event has been the subject of a drawn-out legal battle between its former and current promoters for some months, with recent reports surfacing that a cancellation of this year’s event was looking likely.
Series officials had set a deadline to confirm the event by the end of May in the hopes that a resolution could be found, but have been forced to abandon the project – for this year at least.
“We have been formally advised by the Malaysian promoter that due to ongoing legal action in Malaysia, to which we’re not a party, there is insufficient time to prepare the street circuit in Kuala Lumpur for the event on 12-14 August. The event has therefore been cancelled,” Supercars CEO James Warburton confirmed.
“We apologise to our fans for any inconvenience, but unfortunately this is a matter outside of our control. We explored a number of other options with the Malaysian promoter to ensure this year’s race went ahead including moving the event to the Sepang International Circuit but this was simply not possible.”
Warburton was at pains to stress that a four-year contract was still in place and that he hopes to have the event reinstated on the 2017 calendar.
“We have a four year agreement to race in Malaysia until the end of 2019 and we look forward to returning to Kuala Lumpur when all the local legal issues have been resolved,” he added.
“We believe this event on the streets of KL will be one not to be missed. We are absolutely committed to continuing to expand the series into Asia and are currently considering a number of other options to race in the region beyond 2016.”
The cancellation of this event adds to an ever-growing list of offshore events that have been trialed without success. The championship has had short-lived events in China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and, most recently, the United States, but none has proven successful enough to cement a permanent foothold on the championship calendar.
Image via V8 Supercars Championship