There will be no replacement event to start the 2015 IndyCar Series championship following the late notice cancellation of the planned season opener that had been scheduled for March 8 in Brasilia.

Series management said that they had made efforts to find alternative venues for the date, but had been unable to do so. One of the possibilities thought to have been explored was a maiden outing for IndyCar at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, but clearly to no avail.

"IndyCar has explored several possibilities in an attempt to find a replacement event following the cancellation of the March 8 race in Bras?lia," the series said in a formal press release late on Monday. "Due to the lack of time for suitable planning and the limited number of options, the series has concluded it is not feasible to organize a replacement race on that weekend.

"IndyCar will determine other opportunities for its teams and drivers at that time following a review of the current testing schedule," the statement added, suggesting that additional test sessions may now be scheduled to help the teams get ready for the d?but of new bespoke aero kit components.

The confirmation that the Brazil event has been cancelled and will not be replaced means that the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on March 27-29 will now be the first race of the now 16-event season. It will also be the first outing for the new aerodynamic bodywork parts from Honda and Chevrolet that will replace the previous standardised units provided by chassis builder Dallara.

An initial test of the new parts will take place on March 13, with further promoter tests planned for March 16-17 at Barber Motorsports Park. Teams are awaiting delivery of the aero kits which are currently undergoing homologation inspection and due to be in the hands of the teams on or by March 1. The timings mean that the aero kits were not going to be used in Brazil even if the race had gone ahead as planned.

The Associated Press in Brazil has reported that the reason for the cancellation of the IndyCar race was due to local government concerns about wasting public funds, with officials attacking the $100 million upgrade of the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet circuit as "not in the best interests of society" and a "clear inversion in the priorities for public spending."

"While all efforts are under way to organise an event not essential to the society of the federal district, public employees are not getting paid," the public prosecutors added.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles reassured stakeholders including team owners that the series had not suffered any financial exposure as a result of the cancellation, with a statement confirming that "economically IndyCar is protected and the paddock is protected from such action." A similar late-notice cancellation in 2012 of an inaugural race in China is thought to have put a big dent in the series' accounts at the time.

However on this occasion it appears that that the series wrote in a $27 million fine for a breach of contract, although it's not clear whether that was with the local government that cancelled the race or with BAND, the company appointed as promoters to actually run the event who have been caught in the middle of the situation.



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