According to a few sources (ESPN’s Robin Miller, the Toronto Sun’s Dean McNulty and The Toronto Star’s Norris McDonald among them) the race’s move from the streets in and around Exhibition Place to Mosport is necessitated by the 2015 PanAm Games, which will take place in Toronto next year.
The Toronto Indy race has had its ups and downs, but it’s an event that still draws the crowds and it’s one many people, myself included, look forward to. Still, a return to Mosport, with its hills, off camber turns and the legendary Andretti straightaway, would feel like a welcome throwback to the heyday of IndyCar.
Indy racers first took to the Mosport track in 1967 in twin races both won by Bobby Unser. It was an era when the track also hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada (among a raft of other events). After a nine-year absence IndyCars returned in 1977 with A.J. Foyt taking the checkered flag. The next year Danny Ongais won. The F1 race moved on to the Il Notre Dame/Circuit Gilles Villeneuve after the 1977 event.
Ron Fellows – often referred to as a road-racing ace for his role as a NASCAR ringer and his multiple race wins – is now co-owner of Mosport and was instrumental in its overhaul and renaming to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, is obviously pleased that Power, Helio Castroneves and Juan-Pablo Montoya could be turning laps around his track.
“It’s exciting. How could it not be? We weren’t surprised when (Savoree-Green, the promoters) approached us. I’d say ‘flattered’ would better describe it. They are very good at what they do. The motorsport community is very small and we’re all in the same business, and if there’s anything we can do to help them we will. It’s important to keep an IndyCar event in Canada,” he told the Star. (Honda Indy and CTMP also released a similar joint statement.)
Couldn’t agree more, Ron. IndyCar, time to wave the green flag on Mosport.