Brands Hatch, Wednesday: A1GP series chief Tony Teixeira has today revealed that he is “extremely relieved” by news of an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, which has led him to cancel the proposed season-ending event in Mexico City.
The World Health Organization recently raised its level of influenza pandemic alert relating to the spread of the virus, which originated in Mexico. This announcement led Teixeira to cancel the A1GP event, thanks to the UK Bureau of Unnecessarily Paranoid Travel Advice suggesting that “non-essential” travel to Mexico is avoided.
However, Teixeira has also revealed that he had been looking for an excuse to cancel the event anyway, and was happy that swine flu had given him the perfect reason: “We feel that, having only cancelled two events so far this season and run with an incomplete grid in another, we need to improve on our potential for delivering hilariously disastrous results.
“Obviously the outbreak of swine flu is tragic for all involved, and we hope that the pandemic can be contained and resolved quickly and at minimum human cost, but for us the cost of travelling all the way to Central America has been saved, and we’re very grateful for that.”
Teixeira said that he would not usually follow the advice of the Bureau for Unnecessarily Paranoid Travel Advice, as most of their ideas – such as avoiding travel on Latvian roads or long-distance buses in Nepal – was nonsensical and impractical. “Honestly, there would only be about three countries we could go to,” he revealed, “but in this case their suggestions complied exactly with what we were looking for. So really there was no choice but to do as they said.”
A1GP has a chequered history in that part of the world, having tried and failed to host events in Brazil in every season so far. Teixeira hopes normal shoddy service can be resumed when the next season gets underway in the autumn.