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Montreal to lose Nationwide event

Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is to lose its annual NASCAR Nationwide Series race, after the promoters failed to get a Sprint Cup race added to the venue's itinerary.
NASCAR's annual Nationwide Series race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve looks set to be cancelled, after the local promoters informed the series that they were relinquishing the rights to stage the NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge.

The event has been popular with local Canadian fans of stock car racing, and with the Nationwide teams and drivers over its six years on the calendar.

"It was a very difficult decision to make," said Fran├žois Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Management Inc. "But under the previous management and our own in 2012, the event remained non profitable. Therefore we had to be realistic and conclude that the NASCAR main event on our weekend program doesn't have the kind of appeal that could generate the requested revenues."

In a statement released on Friday, Octane Management said that the event wasn't financially viable unless it was run in conjunction with a Sprint Cup race, and that NASCAR had responded to the request by saying that it was not possible to either add a new event to the Cup season or to move any existing Cup events in the near or even distant future.

"I must admit that NASCAR's final answer is extremely disappointing," said Dumontier. "We can understand how difficult it could be to modify the Sprint Cup schedule, but we still believe that we deserved higher consideration, especially since we have often been told that the annual Montreal event was very important to NASCAR.

"We remain convinced that the presence of the Sprint Cup at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve would have brought a much larger crowd," he added. "Our track usually generates a spectacular race and with its anticipated success, would have offered a larger recognition at the international level to the series and to NASCAR."

Octane Management is a sister company to Octane Motorsports Events, the promoter of the IZOD IndyCar Series event in Edmonton that was removed from the 2013 calendar after the company likewise told IndyCar officials on September 21 that the event was not financially sustainable.

"Despite our tight management policies and all our efforts to offer to the fans a world-class spectacle, we were not able to make this event profitable and nothing allows us to hope for a better profitability next year," Octane Motorsports said about the Edmonton Indy at the time. (See separate story.)

It's now emerged that the Octane Motorsports Events has filed for bankruptcy, with the legal papers stating that the company owes assorted creditors around 5.4 million Canadian dollars.

A third company within the group, Octane Racing Group Inc., is the official local promoter of the F1 Grand Prix of Canada, also staged at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

While bankruptcy for one company within the group should not necessarily impact next year's Grand Prix in Montreal, FIA and FOM representatives will doubtless be closely following the situation and assessing whether the problems within Octane could end up affecting next year's F1 race.



Related Pictures

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Alex Tagliani celebrates winning the Coors Light Pole for the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line to win the NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose of the #9 Stanley Ford holds the trophy after winning the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images]
Jacques Villenueve in the #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge takes a corner during the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Aug. 20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. [Photo Credit: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images]
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Picture Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at New Hampshire on July 7, 2014. (Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Chicago on July 18, 2014. (Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Chevrolet, Alex Tagliani, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, and Chris Buescher driver of the #60 Zest Ford, drive during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, races Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, during the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Zest Ford, and Alex Tagliani, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford lead the pack during the start of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 15, 2015 in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in eleventh place Sunday, August 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 7, 2015 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earnhardt, Jr. is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in fifth place on Sunday, July 19, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following in second place is Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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