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Toronto close to securing 2009 date

Toronto, Champ Car World Series, 2007Longstanding Champ Car World Series venue Toronto has moved closer to securing a place on the 2009 IndyCar Series calendar after leading team Andretti Green Racing signed a letter of intent to purchase the Grand Prix of Toronto.

The letter, dated March 14, indicated Andretti Green Promotions will enter a period of due diligence as it moves towards a possible purchase of the assets of the Grand Prix Association of Toronto Corp.

It is expected that any deal would be completed in the next six weeks as a precursor to the event, which has been an ever-present in Champ Car since 1986, becoming an IndyCar Series round.

"This is an exciting first step in the process," said AGR president Kevin Savoree. "Having the letter of intent in place allows Andretti Green Promotions a chance to look at all the opportunities that exist in Toronto and evaluate its future. There is a great deal of due diligence to complete and a lot of hours in front of us, but we're looking forward to getting started.

"Toronto is a place that I have always loved," said AGR co-owner Michael Andretti. "Itís a great racetrack and a great venue. Racing there was always the highlight of my year and itís exciting to think that weíre exploring the possibility of owning the event.

"I was fortunate enough to win there seven times as a driver and all of those wins were special. If we were able to put a deal together to own and operate an event in Toronto, I would certainly count that as another win there, for sure."

Grand Prix of Toronto president Charlie Johnstone believes the letter of intent is a major boost to the eventís desire to regain a top-line single-seater event in 2009.

"The expressed interest by Andretti Green Promotions to own the Grand Prix of Toronto speaks volumes to the stature this event maintains in open wheel racing in North America," said Johnstone. "We look forward to working with Michael, Kim, Kevin and their team over the course of the next several weeks to pull this off."

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