The FIA World Rallycross Championship round at Igora Drive has been canceled, meaning Projekt E won’t visit Russia during its inaugural season this year.
The removal of the Russian round from the World RX calendar was confirmed on Friday at the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Geneva.
It had been listed as TBC on the calendar since initially being communicated, and no rallycross layout of the new track, which is located outside Saint Petersburg, has yet been revealed.
Igora Drive was set to host World RX and its support series, including Projekt E, on July 18-19. No replacement venue has been announced for that weekend.
According to a statement by the Russian Automobile Federation, the decision was made because of “lengthy negotiations with the promoter of the series and the failure to reach an agreement”.
“Aware of their responsibility to athletes and fans, a choice was made in favor of canceling the competition,” it continued.
“Recall that the initial decision to hold the stage of the World Rallycross Championship in Russia, announced in December 2019, was made by the FIA and subject to agreement with the promoter and homologation of the track.
“The RAF confirms that the race track is ready and the level of training of officials and judges allows the competition to be held at a high organizational level.
“We hope that in the future we will be able to host the stage of the World Rallycross Championship on the modern Igora Drive racetrack.”
Four Projekt E Rounds Remain
It leaves Projekt E with a four-race calendar comprising rounds in Belgium, Norway, Germany and Latvia, using rallycross tracks in Hell and Riga, as well as temporary layouts at Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring.
It’s believed that there won’t be a replacement World RX round to fill Russia’s place on the calendar, but it could be possible for an existing round to add Projekt E to its support schedule, bringing the electric class back up to five rounds.
A potential extra Projekt E race would almost certainly take place in Europe, keeping budgets down by ruling out the flyaways in Cape Town and Abu Dhabi.
This makes Holjes Motorstadion in Sweden (July 4-5) or Loheac, France (Sept. 5-6) the most likely candidates for an additional round.
Two additional European rounds are scheduled early in the season at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Portugal’s Montalegre, but it’s less likely that an additional round would take place before the scheduled Projekt E season-opener at Spa on May 16-17.