Monday, September 25, 2023

2024 IndyCar Series schedule released including Toronto in July

The new IndyCar schedule has the return of the Honda Indy Toronto in Exhibition Place on Sunday, July 21, 2024, part of the IndyCar's 17-race season. Toronto's race weekend would start with Fan Friday on the 19th and continue to the headline race on the 21st. Canada is part of IndyCar's summer heat session with four races in July! I will also review the issues with the race in 2025 and beyond in Exhibition Place.

From IndyCar; "The 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens Sunday, March 10 on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, for the 20th Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding. North America’s premier open-wheel series will crisscross the United States, including a stop for the 108th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 26, before all roads lead to Nashville for an unforgettable championship finale Sunday, Sept. 15 down the heart of the city’s entertainment district and honky tonk row, where the 2024 champion will be crowned for the first time."

“The upward trajectory of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES is reflected through the 2024 schedule,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said. “With stops at premier and global entertainment districts, classic American road courses and thrilling, high-speed ovals, the 2024 season will be exhilarating and highly competitive from beginning to end."

2024 NTT IndyCar Series Schedule

Sunday, March 10 - Streets of St. Petersburg

Sunday, March 24 - The Thermal Club $1 Million Challenge (non-points event)

Sunday, April 21 - Streets of Long Beach

Sunday, April 28 - Barber Motorsports Park

Saturday, May 11 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course)

Saturday, May 18 - Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 1

Sunday, May 19 - Indianapolis 500 Qualifying Day 2

Sunday, May 26 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (oval)

Sunday, June 2 - Streets of Detroit

Sunday, June 9 - Road America

Sunday, June 23 - WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Sunday, July 7 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Saturday, July 13 - Iowa Speedway Race 1

Sunday, July 14 - Iowa Speedway Race 2

Sunday, July 21 - Streets of Toronto

Saturday, Aug. 17 - World Wide Technology Raceway

Sunday, Aug. 25 - Portland International Raceway

Saturday, Aug. 31 - Milwaukee Mile Race 1

Sunday, Sept. 1 - Milwaukee Mile Race 2

Sunday, Sept. 15 - Streets of Nashville

The 2024 11-turn, temporary street circuit through Exhibition Place and out onto Lake Shore Boulevard will be the 36th year of the Toronto race which has already raised over $1 million dollars for charity during the Fan Friday support of  Make-A-Wish Canada.

Exhibition Place had previously provided a 3-year contract to race owners and operators Green Savoree Toronto, ULC which ran from 2021 to 2023. Both parties recently signed a new contract with a period of only one year - from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024. The difficulty with extending the contract duration beyond 2024 is the extensive work that is required to take place in and around Exhibition Place - work that is associated with the Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation, the Ontario Line subway construction works (Civil works 2023-2027), the Dufferin Street bridge replacements (2024-2028), the construction of an additional hotel and esports venue (Phase 2 expansion by Hotel X facility) located along Lake Shore Boulevard and adjacent to the historic Stanley Barracks (with a completion of mid-2025?) as well as the BMO Field seating expansion and hosting some of soccer's FIFA World Cup 2026 games at BMO Field.

An additional 17,756 seats will be added to the existing BMO Field on both the north and south sides of the field, making two levels of seats around the entire stadium. FIFA is also granted exclusive use of Exhibition Place from May to July 2026 which is typically the period when Honda Indy Toronto takes place. The plans for the expansion should be completed by May of 2024 and construction would start shortly afterwards with completion in two years to be ready for the World Cup games in 2026.

Hopefully Honda Indy Toronto will be able to negotiate the time and location for IndyCar and supporting series racing to continue in the city from 2025.

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