The sounds of IndyCar racers will fill the air along Toronto’s lakeshore for the near future as an agreement has been reached for the Honda Indy Toronto to continue through 2014.
All parties involved, including IndyCar, the City of Toronto, Honda Canada and Exhibition Place, signed the contract that will keep one of the city’s most popular sporting events coming back for the next three years. This year, the race weekend, part of the Toronto calendar since 1986, will run July 6 to July 8.
“Toronto is, by far, one of our very favourites,” said IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard at the conference announcing the contract extension. “It’s my favorite because of the passion our drivers show here. They’re not afraid to get in a few fights and let their voices be known.”
Organizer Kim Green, co-owner of Green Savoree Racing promotions and former partner of Michael Andretti in Green Andretti Racing, said the race is an important part of the Toronto sporting and entertainment scene.
“Auto racing is exciting and accessible for fans, but it is also very attractive to corporate and public partners,” Green said.
“This partnership continues to build on the successes of recent years and brings the highest level of racing excitement to Torontonians and Canadians,” Honda vice-president Dave Gardner said. “Honda Canada is very proud to continue to be a key member of the team bringing the Honda Indy Toronto to our great city.”
“This event is a part of our heritage, our fabric and our future,” said Honda Indy Toronto vice-president and general manager Charlie Johnstone. “We take the responsibility of putting on a good show very seriously and it is clear that a growing community of partners and fans believe in our vision and are ready to take a stake in the event.”
One of this year's draws is sure to be Canadian James Hinchcliffe. The 25-year-old racer was born in Oakville, a short drive along the Gardiner Expressway from the Honda Indy Toronto course. That fact alone should put him right up with another “hometown” favourite.
“Wow, this kid’s good,” said Green. “I think Canada has found its next Paul Tracy in my mind.”
Tickets for the Honda Indy Toronto are available online or by phone at 1.877.503.6869.