IndyCar remains hopeful for Toronto race, has backup plan

Phillip Abbott/Motorsport Images

IndyCar remains hopeful for Toronto race, has backup plan


IndyCar remains hopeful for Toronto race, has backup plan


Ongoing concerns over COVID-related lockdowns, border crossing, and quarantines continue to be raised in regards to whether the July 11 Honda Indy Toronto race can be held. And while it’s too early for Green Savoree Race Promotions or the NTT IndyCar Series to say whether their lone visit to Canada will take place as planned, IndyCar president Jay Frye says the series is ready to act and adjust the schedule, if necessary.

“The intention would be to go and race in Toronto, and if anybody can get it done, it’s the Green Savoree folks,” Frye told RACER. “They’re there in Toronto every day, and obviously deal with the local authorities every day. The date of the race is beyond when the next level of opening is for them, so we understand it. Obviously, the biggest issue is, how do you build it beforehand?”

With a mandate from Toronto mayor John Tory that bars outdoor entertainment and the construction of temporary events prior to July 1, the hope for GSRP and IndyCar is to receive a special dispensation to start the two- to three-week building process for the temporary street circuit in June.

If the Honda Indy Toronto is unable to be held, Frye says rather than dropping an event from the calendar, IndyCar would look to maintain its 17-race schedule by adding a round elsewhere on the circuit.

“Obviously, we’re very hopeful there’s no need to do anything different,” he added. “But if something would happen to happen with that event, would we have a plan to replace it? Yes. So then what’s the plan? Well, there’s numerous plans, and that’s part of it.”

As the 2020 IndyCar calendar was continually impacted by event postponements or cancellations in relation to the coronavirus, the series turned multiple venues into doubleheader rounds in order to compensate for races like Toronto that were lost. A similar call could be made if Toronto is unable to answer the bell in 2021.

“You think about all the stuff we learned last year and the way we were able to operate, and what we did, sometimes with just a few days’ notice,” Frye said. “It’s that type of thing. You just have to wait and see what happens because we’re very confident in everywhere else we’re going. And then if something happens there in Toronto, we’ll go through a checklist or a process to come up with what’s next, but our intention would be to replace it.”