Inaugural Formula 4 night race in Chennai pushed to next season due to floods

India’s first-ever night street circuit race as part of the Formula 4 (F4) Indian Championship and Indian Racing League was scheduled to be held in Chennai on December 9-10, 2023. However, the unprecedented Cyclone Michaung and the resulting floods have postponed the event. Organisers Racing Promotions Private Limited (RPPL) have announced that the street circuit’s debut has been pushed to next year.

The inaugural night race as part of the Formula 4 Indian Championship and Indian Racing League was scheduled on the brand-new Chennai street circuit on December 9-10

The 3.7 km-long street circuit was called the Chennai Formula Racing Circuit and was located across Island Grounds, Victory War Memorial, Napier Bridge, Sivananda Salai and Mount Road in the heart of the city. It’s also noteworthy to mention that the season opener of the championship was originally scheduled on the Hyderabad Street Circuit but was later moved to the Madras International Circuit due to elections in Telangana.

In a statement, the organisers Racing Promotions Private Limited (RPPL) said, “Against this background of massive rainfall and relief measures, the Tamil Nadu government has requested RPPL to reschedule the race. Unfortunately, the Technical Calendar precluded us from conducting the event in December or in January apart from the originally scheduled December 9th and 10th, 2023. Hence, in consultation with the Tamil Nadu Government, it has been decided to shift the event to the upcoming racing season.”

Organisers said that the Government of Tamil Nadu had put in elaborate arrangements for the Chennai Formula 4 Racing Circuit, which would be the first-ever night race in the country. The circuit was also certified by the FIA and tickets had gone on sale on November 4 for the same. With the cancellation, the entire 2023 season of F4 will now be held at the Madras International Circuit.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Racing Promotions Private Limited was signed on August 16, 2023. The organisers said that ticket sales witnessed massive enthusiasm, while the street circuit development work began soon after and included road laying, track design, safety barriers, grandstands for spectators, lighting systems, lounges, publicity and more. The circuit was ready by December 1, the statement read further, with all the necessary permissions sought from the various government agencies.

However, Chennai witnessed heavy rainfall brought up by Cyclone Michaung on December 3 and 4, which led to waterlogging and evacuation in many areas. The state government had to undertake massive relief and rehabilitation measures for people affected by the cyclone in the last week. RPPL said it will announce the calendar for 2024 in the coming days.

First Published Date: 13 Dec 2023, 19:54 PM IST

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