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IndyCar Hopeful for Honda Indy Toronto Despite Current Ontario Restrictions

By: Ashley McCubbin

While the United States of America becomes vaccinated and begins to open up more, the same can’t be said for their counterparts across the border – and that’s put a couple events into question.

The province of Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home lockdown order for the month of April, with people only allowed to go out for essential reasons. They have also began vaccinating people throughout the province, but no doubt the numbers do compare lower than other regions around the world. Despite the actions by the government with an attempt to get citizens vaccinated, the COVID-19 case numbers have continued to climb.

The Honda Indy Toronto may be three months away, but concerns have continued to mount as a result of both these reasons, combined with the current border restrictions. The race was cancelled last year for similar reasons.

Speaking with the media earlier this week, President and CEO of the Penske Entertainment Corporation Mark Miles reiterated the series’ intentions to run the event as scheduled on the calendar.

If the event is unable to go off on the scheduled, Miles added there is not much opportunity to move it. The current IndyCar summer schedule is “pretty full,” and a lot of planning needed for the Toronto event due to being on the downtown streets.

“So we would probably look to replace it on a one-off basis, and I think we have great options for how to do that, even if we learn about it at the last minute,” he added.

A cancelation of the event would likely result in one of the other dates on the schedule being turned into a double-header weekend.

“I won’t speculate at this point as to which one it would be, but I don’t think — we wouldn’t be looking at putting a different race in that date,” he commented. “We’d be looking at adding one on a weekend we’re already scheduled and planning to execute.”

When reached out to comment about the event, the office of Toronto Mayor John Tory, the city office restated the cancellation of in-person City-led and City-permitted major outdoor events to July 1, including Canada Day festivities, to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

“This cancellation includes festivals and other large, in-person gatherings held at outdoor sites managed by the City or other public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares,” Media Relations representative Andrea Gonsalves said. “Further updates will be provided once decisions have been made. And of course that any event, whether on City property or not, would need to comply with Provincial health regulations, guidance, restrictions, etc.”

News From The Pits also reached out to race organizers, as well as the provincial government office for comment in regards to the event, but has yet to receive anything in return.  

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