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IndyCar loses Toronto race due to COVID-19 restrictions

For the second successive year, Toronto has been scrubbed from the IndyCar calendar due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda lead at the start

Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Mayor John Tory announced the cancellation of several events in line with the stay-at-home order across the state of Ontario. This restriction was originally set to end on July 1, but has now been extended to September 6.

Green Savoree Racing Promotions (GSRP), which also runs the St. Petersburg, Mid-Ohio and Portland events, said in a statement: “Of course, we are all disappointed in this outcome. Our team greatly appreciates the incredible fans, participants, volunteers, media and dedicated partners who have supported us as we all navigate these unusual and uncertain days.

“Ticket purchasers on file with deferred tickets from the 2020 event will now have those tickets extended to the 2022 event. These fans will receive direct communication on the details when more information becomes available. We are excited to return to the streets of Toronto with this great event when the conditions allow us to do so again.”

Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles commented: “The IndyCar Series race around Exhibition Place and Princes’ Gates is a hallmark of our summer schedule. To have that void for a second straight year is heart-breaking.

“We deeply miss our fans there and urge them to remain safe during these unprecedented times. IndyCar looks forward to a high-powered return in 2022 and for years to come.”

Until last year’s race cancellation, Toronto had featured Indy car racing for every year but one since 1986. The only other missing year had been 2008, the season when Champ Car and the Indy Racing League merged, and the combined schedule was unviable.

IndyCar said it is “considering various scenarios for the remainder of the 2021 IndyCar calendar as it relates to the cancellation of the event on the streets of Toronto.”

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Turning another GSRP event into a double-header is one potential scenario, as is a double-header at Road America, or an extra event on Indianapolis’ road course.

However, a fourth possibility is simply reducing the 2021 schedule from 17 to 16 races.

IMSA announced the cancellation of its round at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario last month. 

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