The football-themed Superleague Formula racing series has given up on its 2011 season after announcing that it will no longer be making a scheduled trip to Asia later this month.
But the series, now marketing itself as a ‘nations cup’ event rather than a football league, says it would like to reassure fans that it will be back up to strength in 2012.
It says that it was forced to pull out of the trip after terms between the championship and local authorities could not be reached.
Planned rounds in Beijing, Shanghai and South Korea in late October and November have all gone thanks to what organisers describe as “negotiations at deadlock”.
They say that the championship has been left with no other option than to abandon the Asian races and end its 2011 campaign early.
The series originally planned a world tour involving events in Europe, New Zealand, South America and Asia – but, in the first year after its Sonangol sponsorship ended, only events in Belgium and the Netherlands came to pass.
Robin Webb, Superleague’s Director of Competitions, added: “While everyone at Superleague Formula recognises this is an unsatisfactory outcome for the thousands of fans, it was simply not possible to travel to China with certain details still to be agreed.
“That this announcement has come so close to the first scheduled event is testament to the championship’s tireless attempts to stage the races as planned, especially after the warm welcome we received in China last season.
“Naturally I am as frustrated as anyone that the championship will not be visiting Asia this year.”
He said that he would like to reassure fans that plans are already well advanced in putting together a much-improved package for 2012 and promised announcements in due course.