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Montreal Mayor Cancels E-Prix

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante cancels 2018 E-Prix, citing financial issues with local promoter…

Photo: Formula E

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has pulled the plug on the city’s planned E-Prix, which was to serve as the finale for the 2017/18 FIA Formula E Championship season.

The July 28-29 race, located in the city’s downtown district, will not be held for a second consecutive year due to what Plante says has turned into “financial fiasco” with the organization behind the event.

According to a report by CBC, ‘Montreal it’s electric’, the non-profit event organizers, owes creditors millions of dollars for unpaid bills and is $9.5 million CAD into its line of credit.

Plante alleges that taxpayers would have to pay $35 million CAD in order for the race to happen next year, despite a push having been made to re-locate the event to nearby Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“Montrealers have made it clear that we can’t waste their money on poorly planned projects that don’t serve them,” Plante said.

The city had a three-year deal with Formula E Holdings Ltd that was set to expire in 2019.

The news broke Monday afternoon during a press conference.

“We are very surprised and disappointed by the unilateral decision and announcement of the Mayor of Montreal,” a statement from Formula E read.

“This is a clear case of a new mayor undoing what the previous mayor did. Whilst there is a contract in place, we will not make further comments at this point as this is now in the hands of our Canadian legal counsel.”

The original deal to bring Formula E to Montreal was brokered by former Mayor Denis Coderre, with an initial three-year contract being agreed with an option to add another three years on top.

Plante ran part of her election campaign on an anti-Formula E platform as part of her push to save taxpayers money, and wished to relocate the race to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that hosts Formula 1 every year.

However, with construction work due to commence at the permanent race circuit following next year’s Canadian Grand Prix in June, a switch was not possible.

It remains unclear if a contingency plan is in place to replace the double-header round with another event in Canada or North America.

The New York E-Prix, also a double-header event, takes place two weeks prior in Brooklyn.

Additional reporting by Luke Smith.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of e-racing365. Dagys, who launched the industry-leading Sportscar365 in 2013, spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Old Trombone

    December 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Watching the Montreal e-prix on tv, my friend said “that looks like Baltimore”, and remembering the IMSA race they had there, I thought it looks like Baltimore, and it smells like Baltimore too…

  2. Sham_Poser

    December 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

    The schedule on the Formula E website now displays “TBA” for what was to have been the Montreal weekend.
    http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/calendar
    Is there any realistic chance that a new street race somewhere else could be arranged quickly enough for the same date? It would seem unlikely.

  3. Chris

    December 26, 2017 at 5:27 am

    The series was already short on races so they really need to find a replacement venue for a double header.

    They’ve shown in the past that they can find replacements at short notice. Berlin Templehoff came back in when needed and Argentina is coming back as well to fill in for Brazil.

    But so far they’ve not had to replace a venue with a totally new one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they manage it.

    • Sam Smith

      January 1, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Watch this space. More news on this coming up this month we believe
      Regards

    • Sham_Poser

      January 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      “Toronto has been mooted” is the only mention of a specific location I have read. But the football stadium enclosed by the IndyCar layout already has matches (Toronto FC of MLS, Toronto Argonauts of the CFL) scheduled on all of the other weekends in July, and the promoters (Green Savoree) are contractually obligated to begin removing all of the barriers, fences, etc., immediately after the IndyCar race ends and to have all of it out within 12 days.
      Trois-Rivières is the only other possibility I can think of for North America, unless they are willing to settle for using a permanent track.

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