Friday, July 09, 2021

Honda Indy Toronto 2021 was to be this weekend

The annual burning rubber, engines screaming Honda Indy race weekend was cancelled due to covid precautions, like many public events of 2020 and 2021. Originally scheduled to take place July 9-11, 2021, organizers had to cancel after the City of Toronto banned large gatherings up till after Labour Day in September. For those counting, this is the second HIT cancellation - let's hope that 2022 is the magic year where so much of our social and entertainment life will return in force.

From the IndyCar website, "Last month, due to restrictions in Ontario focusing on COVID-19 health-and-safety measures, organizers of the Honda Indy Toronto and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES announced the cancellation of this year’s event. In a decision based on the strength of the remainder of the 2021 schedule, INDYCAR will not replace that event on this year’s calendar. We are thrilled the season will continue next month with a memorable July 4th race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which has hosted the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 1980. It will be followed by an action-packed August with a fantastic inaugural event on the Streets of Nashville (Aug. 8), another historic NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Aug. 14 INDYCAR race) and the final oval of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway (Aug. 21)."

For 2021 IndyCar will finish their 16 race schedule in the Streets of Long Beach on September 26. The current leading drivers are ALEX PALOU, PATO O'WARD, SCOTT DIXON, JOSEF NEWGARDEN, MARCUS ERICSSON and SIMON PAGENAUD.

Honda Indy Toronto is a street race, with the roads in Exhibition Place and out onto Lake Shore Boulevard making up the 2.84 km temporary track featuring 11-turns and a heck of a lot of excitement.

Here is part of IndyCar's talk with the Canadian drivers regarding the Toronto cancellation, "Toronto’s Exhibition Place was supposed to be roaring this weekend with the annual electricity generated by the Honda Indy Toronto, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES event which traces its roots to the first event held in the Ontario city in 1986. However, lingering effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic prohibited that for a second consecutive year.

No one is more disappointed that James Hinchcliffe and Dalton Kellett, Canadian drivers itching to again compete on the 11-turn, 1.786-mile temporary street circuit.

Both NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers call the Toronto area home. Hinchcliffe is from the suburb of Oakville, Kellett from Stouffville.

“The drivers are right there with you,” Kellett said of again missing this event. “We love that track, and everyone really enjoys coming to the city.”

AJ Foyt Racing driver Kellett insisted he wasn’t just boasting about his hometown, which annually puts on a terrific show for the motorsports community.

“It wasn’t the right time, given Ontario’s COVID numbers, for it to happen this year,” Kellett said. “We will see you next year!”

Canadian drivers have a history of performing at a high level in this event."

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