The V8 Supercars inaugural KL City 400 round in Kuala Lumpur could be dead in the water amid reports that local authorities have cancelled the event, set to take place in August.
Reports in the local Free Malaysia Today newspaper claim that the city’s mayor, Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, has pulled the pin on the event amid ongoing legal disputes between the event’s current and former promoters.
The speculation prompted V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton to make an emergency trip to Malaysia on Monday to hold last-minute talks to rescue the event.
Having sent a five-car demonstration to the inaugural KL City Grand Prix GT event last year, the Australian touring cars were set to complete a full championship event on a makeshift street circuit on August 12-14.
The event has undergone major upheavals since the demonstration event with a new promoter, City Motorsports, effectively stepping in to replace the event’s former promoter, GT Global, which struck financial troubles.
The rights to stage the event, however, were not transferred from GT Global to City Motorsports. GT Global is in turn suing City Motorsports, forcing KL City Hall to declare that the event will not go ahead while the dispute continues.
V8 Supercars has a four-year deal to headline the KL City Grand Prix; it could postpone the launch to 2017 should this year’s event not take place.
The V8 Supercars Championship has tried – and failed – on a number of occasions to secure races outside Australia and New Zealand, with short-lived ventures in China, Bahrain Abu Dhabi and the United States amounting to major cost blowouts and poor trackside and TV audiences. The series has not raced outside Australasia since its one-off trip to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas in 2013.
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