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Brazilian organizers say IndyCar opener has been canceled

SAO PAULO (AP/WISH) – The IndyCar Series opener scheduled for March in Brazil’s capital was canceled on Thursday.

The television channel promoting the event released a brief statement saying the decision was made “unilaterally” by the local government in Brasilia.

Band TV did not immediately provide any additional details, but said it was a “hasty” decision by the local government.

“Band will inform in the next few days how those who have bought tickets will be reimbursed. The channel laments this hasty decision,” the statement said.

The channel said three of the five seating sections for the March 8 race at the Nelson Piquet Circuit had already sold out.

The government agency organizing the event in Brasilia could not be immediately reached for comment.

IndyCar officials sent out the following statement about the cancellation:

Today’s announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasília was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing. INDYCAR had received every indication that the race was already a success: Two-thirds of the seats available for the event had already been sold; a title sponsor for the event (ITAIPAVA) was announced yesterday; hospitality was sold out; and track construction was progressing and scheduled to be complete in time for the event. Although we have not received formal confirmation from our partners in Brazil regarding the cancellation, economically INDYCAR is protected and the paddock is protected from such action.