It was mid-Might when IndyCar revealed that the Toronto avenue race round Exhibition Place must be scrubbed from its schedule for the second straight 12 months, attributable to restrictions attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the time, IndyCar stated it was “contemplating varied eventualities” for a alternative race, with one favorite being a 3rd race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway street course alongside GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis and subsequent month’s Verizon 200 on Brickyard weekend, when IndyCar will share the venue with NASCAR.
There was additionally the chance that Toronto’s promoters, Inexperienced Savoree Racing Promotions, is likely to be ‘thrown a bone’ by internet hosting a double-header at one in all their different venues, comparable to Mid-Ohio or Portland.
Nonetheless, senior insiders at Penske Leisure knowledgeable Autosport that turning any forthcoming dates right into a double-header provided little or no return on funding for any promoter until extra sponsorship may very well be discovered – which might be exceedingly unlikely given the quick discover.
Due to this fact the probability was that IndyCar’s much-loved Toronto occasion, which was first held in 1986, wouldn’t get replaced this 12 months.
And so it has proved. In a press release issued on Monday afternoon, Dave Furst, VP of communications at IndyCar stated: “Final month, attributable to restrictions in Ontario specializing in COVID-19 health-and-safety measures, organizers of the Honda Indy Toronto and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES introduced the cancellation of this 12 months’s occasion. In a call based mostly on the energy of the rest of the 2021 schedule, we needed to the touch base to let you understand we is not going to exchange that occasion on this 12 months’s calendar…
“The NTT IndyCar Collection appears ahead to the rest of a powerful and compelling 2021 calendar. The schedule is ready with legendary street and avenue programs and a daring oval, which have turn into logos to profitable the collection championship and the Astor Cup.
“A historic Indianapolis 500, mixed with different thrilling and memorable spring occasions, has highlighted the collection’ thrilling mixture of youth and extremely established stars. This 12 months’s 16-race schedule has set the stage for an amazing stretch run.”
That is nonetheless two extra races than within the COVID-afflicted 2020 season which needed to characteristic 5 double-headers to make up for cancelled races.