Motor racing-Extreme E cancels South American races due to COVID-19

LONDON (Reuters) - The new Extreme E electric off-road series has cancelled races in Brazil's Amazon and Argentina's Patagonia regions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Scotland now a possible alternative, it said in a statement on Friday.

The Amazon round was scheduled for Oct. 23-24 with the Glacier X Prix listed for Dec. 11-12.

Extreme E, which uses identical SUVs and includes Britain's seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton as one of the team owners, said it had decided to postpone visiting the region until season two.

"We’ve been closely monitoring the situation regarding all Extreme E locations for 2021 and have chosen to make this pre-emptive decision on racing in South America this year," said Extreme E founder Alejandro Agag.

"Our priority is to deliver a five-race calendar of events which are safe and responsible for our global participants, partners and staff to travel to and attend."

Extreme E said alternatives under consideration included the Western Isles of Scotland ahead of Glasgow hosting the COP26 climate change conference in November.

The series has so far held two rounds -- in Saudi Arabia and Senegal -- with the third scheduled for Greenland at the end of August.

Extreme E aims to raise awareness about climate change and promote sustainability by racing electric SUVs in remote and harsh environments, with a former mail ship used to transport cars between locations.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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