until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula E

Formula E's latest support series called off four days from start

by Sam Smith
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The Race understands that the NXT Gen Cup series that was due to support Formula E at four rounds, starting at Misano this weekend, will no longer be on the FE undercard due to financial reasons.

Plans were unveiled earlier this year for the electric, Mini Cooper-based touring car series to race with Formula E at Misano and in Berlin, Monaco and London, but there were last-minute difficulties in the deal between Formula E and the Swedish organiser - Fredrik Lestrup and the Lestrup Racing Team.

The Race has learned that a decision was communicated on Monday morning to postpone the series.

Consequently, NXT Gen's participation in support of Formula E at its European events has now been cancelled, although it is believed that other events, including ones supporting the DTM this season, may still take place.

A Formula E spokesperson told The Race the cancellations were "due to unexpected constraints faced by the support series".

The electric touring cars were testing at Misano last week and the series' infrastructure, including the cars, remains at the Italian circuit this week.

Formula E now has to scramble to reshape its paddock for the coming weekend and to plan additional marketing and fan activities due to the absence of the NXT Gen Cup cars.

The NXT Gen Cup ran last season at some Swedish and other European venues and was conceived to promote EV racing and enable young drivers, engineers and team members to get a step on the international racing ladder.

Formula E has stressed it "remains committed to nurturing the next generation of talent through FIA Girls on Track and other impactful initiatives for young people."

The Race says

Formula E’s difficulties in hosting support races continues.

The short-lived Jaguar I-Pace eTROPHY that ran for two years was not a success and several planned initiatives to offer more than the current three hours of track running on each day of an E-Prix have not come off in recent years.

The NXT Gen Cup was a surprise addition when it was announced as a support vehicle for Formula E earlier this year. The series started quietly last season but had gained good momentum in recent weeks with a host of drivers signed up to the grid.

Most of them were from karting backgrounds and some were back for a second campaign this year after successful pilot races in 2023.

The professionalism of the set-up was strong, with experienced staff and a sound structure to the sporting framework.

That though appears to now have been squandered in terms of gaining credibility on the international scene, with a late cancellation of the series due to apparent financial issues created by an errant investor.

That is a huge shame because the ethos made sense and the plans were progressive. Both the NXT Gen Cup and Formula E would have got a great deal from the partnership.

NXT Gen majors on viable and sustainable racing, but perhaps this step was just too early for it.

Instead, now, both parties come away from the brief relationship in poor light - with the NXT Gen Cup hopefully able to recalibrate and return in better shape and Formula E by proxy forced to deal with an embarrassing situation just days before it was to welcome what appeared to be an exciting new project for new generations of racers beginning.

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