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Controversial Montreal ePrix cancelled

The 2018 Montreal ePrix has been cancelled, officials have announced.

The race faced political opposition and financial problems going into its second season on the Formula E calendar.

Local residents and businesses opposed holding the race in the downtown location that hosted the 2017 season finale.

Newly elected mayor Valerie Plante promised to move the race in her election campaign.

She originally proposed the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which hosts the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, but a 10-month renovation project will start at the circuit straight after the 2018 GP, meaning it will be off limits for the ePrix, which is scheduled for July 2018.

The race is also in financial problems. Non-profit organiser Montreal c'est electrique has $6.2 million in unpaid bills and has already used up the $15 million credit set aside by the previous mayor.

Plante met with Formula E officials last week to propose taking a one year break to "clean the house", resolving the problems with Montreal c'est electrique, but officials said a break was not possible.

The city will now have to pay a penalty for pulling out of a contract that was supposed to see it host FE for at least three years.

Plante said paying the penalty would be "worth it" to avoid further costs involved in hosting the event for the next two years.

 Montreal joined the FE calendar last season. Lucas Di Grassi won the first of the two races, with Jean-Eric Vergne taking his first FE victory in race two.

Bethonie Waring

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