Honda Indy Toronto

The Honda Indy Toronto is an annual Indy Car race, held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Originally known as the Molson Indy Toronto, it was part of the Champ Car World Series from 1986 to 2007. After a one year hiatus, it has been part of the NTT IndyCar Series schedule since 2009. The race takes place on a 2.874-kilometre (1.786 mi), 11 turn, temporary street circuit through Exhibition Place and on Lake Shore Boulevard. Toronto is classified as an FIA Grade Two circuit.[1]

Honda Indy Toronto
NTT IndyCar Series
LocationExhibition Place
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
43°38′14″N 79°24′56″W
Corporate sponsorHonda Canada Inc.
First race1986
First ICS race2009
Laps110
Previous namesMolson Indy Toronto (1986–2005)
Molson Grand Prix of Toronto (2006)
Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto (2007)
Most wins (driver)Michael Andretti (7)
Most wins (team)Newman/Haas Racing (7)
Most wins (manufacturer)Dallara (13)
Circuit information
SurfaceAsphalt/Concrete
Length2.874 km (1.786 mi)
Turns11
Lap record57.143 (Gil de Ferran, Reynard-Honda, 1999, CART)

It is IndyCar's second-longest running street race, only behind the Grand Prix of Long Beach[2] and is the third oldest race on the current schedule (tied with the Mid-Ohio 200) in terms of number of races run.[3] The Toronto Indy is one of seven Canadian circuits to have held an IndyCar race, the others being Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Mont-Tremblant, Sanair, Montreal, Vancouver, and Edmonton.

History

In 1967, the first Indy race held in Canada was the Telegram Trophy 200, held at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario as part of the USAC Championship Car season. The race was won by Bobby Unser for his first career Indy victory. The Telegram Trophy 200 was again held in 1968 at Mosport, this time won by Dan Gurney.

After a nine-year absence, IndyCars returned to the Toronto area for the Molson Diamond Indy at Mosport Park won by A. J. Foyt in 1977 and Danny Ongais in 1978.

In the spring of 1985, Molson Breweries in-house promotional division, Molstar Sports & Entertainment proposed to run a CART sanctioned IndyCar race at Exhibition Place in Toronto. Toronto City Council approved the race by two votes in July 1985 for the race to be held the following year. [4]

The first Molson Indy Toronto was won by Bobby Rahal on July 20, 1986. The event quickly became Canada's second largest annual sporting event, eclipsed only by the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, with three-day attendance figures routinely around 170,000 people.[5]

In the 1996 race, American driver Jeff Krosnoff was killed in a crash with 4 laps remaining. In that same crash, volunteer corner marshal Gary Avrin was killed, and marshal Barbara Johnston also received injuries in the crash; she was treated and released that evening. Adrián Fernández won the race.

The name of the race was changed in 2006 from the Molson Indy Toronto to the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto after it was purchased by the Champ Car World Series from Molstar Sports and Entertainment. The name was also changed to distance Champ Car from the rival Indy Racing League (IRL), which had gained the exclusive right to use the "Indy" name after 2002. In 2007, after Molson dropped their title sponsorship to the race, Steelback Brewery signed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar deal to become the event’s title sponsor, renaming it the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto. This marked the first title sponsorship change since the event started in 1986.

The unification of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League was announced on February 22, 2008, and the Grand Prix of Toronto's future was left in doubt. After attempts were made to preserve the race for 2008, it was confirmed on March 5, 2008, that the race had been cancelled. On May 15, 2008, Andretti Green Racing (co-owned by Michael Andretti) purchased the assets of the former Grand Prix of Toronto.[6] On July 30, 2008, it was confirmed that the race would return to Toronto on July 12, 2009.[7] On September 18, 2008, Andretti Green Racing announced that it had signed a multi-year agreement with Honda Canada Inc. for the title sponsorship of the race, henceforth named from 2009 onward as the Honda Indy Toronto.[8]

In 2013, the race weekend was changed to a 2 race format with one race Saturday and one race Sunday. The Saturday race would feature a standing start while the Sunday race would be a rolling start. After an aborted standing start Saturday leading to a rolling start, teams and officials agreed to try the standing start again Sunday. The Sunday standing start was successful on its first attempt and was the first successful standing start in unified IndyCar series history (the Champ Car World Series had used standing starts late in its history shortly before unification). In 2014, weather forced both races to be run Sunday, exposing the difficulty in logistics of running two races in an already packed schedule. By 2015, both standing starts and the two race format were abandoned.

In 2016, the track layout was modified to accommodate the newly constructed Hotel X Toronto. Under the new layout, the pit lane was moved to the opposite side of the race course, starting at the outside of turn 9 and exiting just after turn 11. This, in turn, made turn 11 a sharper turn than it had been in the previous configuration.[9]

Michael Andretti is the all-time race win leader with seven victories.

Past winners

USAC (Mosport Park)

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race distance Race time Average speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
USAC National Championship Trail
1967 July 1 Bobby Unser Leader Cards Racing Eagle Ford 40 98.36 (158.295) 0:59:14 102.770 Report
6 14.754 (23.744)
1968 June 15 Dan Gurney Oscar Olson Eagle Weslake-Ford 40 98.36 (158.295) 0:56:45 105.727 Report
40 98.36 (158.295) 0:55:16 108.564
1969

1976
Not held
1977 July 3 A. J. Foyt A. J. Foyt Enterprises Coyote Foyt 75 184.425 (296.803 km) 2:03:35 90.733 Report
1978 June 11 Danny Ongais Interscope Racing Parnelli Cosworth 76 186.884 (300.761 km) 2:08:38 87.164 Report
1979 Not held
1980 Sept 14 Race cancelled following unification of USAC and CART schedules.
  • 1967: Run in two heats of 98 miles (158 kilometers/40 laps) each. Second race stopped after 6 laps due to rain.
  • 1968: Run in two heats of 98 miles (158 kilometers/40 laps) each.

CART/Champ Car/IndyCar (Exhibition Place)

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race distance Race time Average speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
CART IndyCar/Champ Car
1986 July 20 Bobby Rahal Truesports March Cosworth 103 183.34 (295.057) 2:05:50 87.414 Report
1987 July 19 Emerson Fittipaldi Patrick Racing March Chevrolet-Ilmor 103 183.34 (295.057) 1:54:35 95.991 Report
1988 July 17 Al Unser Jr. Galles Racing March Chevrolet-Ilmor 103 183.34 (295.057) 1:59:34 91.994 Report
1989 July 23 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 103 183.34 (295.057) 2:01:00 90.9 Report
1990 July 22 Al Unser Jr. Galles/KRACO Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 94* 167.32 (269.275) 2:13:26 75.997 Report
1991 July 21 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Chevrolet-Ilmor 103 183.34 (295.057) 1:50:57 99.143 Report
1992 July 19 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 103 183.34 (295.057) 1:52:21 97.898 Report
1993 July 18 Paul Tracy Penske Racing Penske Chevrolet-Ilmor 103 183.34 (295.057) 1:53:58 96.51 Report
1994 July 17 Michael Andretti Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Ford-Cosworth 98 174.44 (280.733) 1:48:15 96.673 Report
1995 July 16 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 98 174.44 (280.733) 1:50:25 94.787 Report
1996 July 14 Adrian Fernandez Tasman Motorsports Lola Honda 93* 165.912 (267.009) 1:41:59 97.548 Report
1997 July 20 Mark Blundell PacWest Racing Reynard Mercedes-Benz 95 163.495 (263.119) 1:45:43 92.779 Report
1998 July 19 Alex Zanardi Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 95 163.495 (263.119) 1:52:24 87.274 Report
1999 July 18 Dario Franchitti Team Green Reynard Honda 95 166.725 (268.317) 1:56:27 85.897 Report
2000 July 16 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 112 196.56 (316.332) 2:00:02 98.248 Report
2001 July 15 Michael Andretti Team Green Reynard Honda 95 166.725 (268.317) 1:59:58 83.375 Report
2002 July 7 Cristiano da Matta Newman/Haas Racing Lola Toyota 112 196.56 (316.332) 2:06:19 93.361 Report
2003 July 13 Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 112 196.56 (316.332) 2:02:36 96.189 Report
2004 July 11 Sébastien Bourdais Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 84 147.42 (237.249) 1:45:36 83.749 Report
2005 July 10 Justin Wilson RuSPORT Lola Ford-Cosworth 86 150.93 (242.898) 1:46:10 85.296 Report
2006 July 9 A. J. Allmendinger Forsythe Racing Lola Ford-Cosworth 86 150.93 (242.898) 1:38:01 92.386 Report
2007 July 8 Will Power Walker Racing Panoz Cosworth 73 128.115 (206.181) 1:45:58 72.534 Report
2008 July 6 Race cancelled following reunification of Champ Car and IRL.
IndyCar Series
2009 July 12 Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:43:47 86.24 Report
2010 July 18 Will Power Penske Racing Dallara Honda 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:47:15 83.451 Report
2011 July 10 Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:56:32 76.805 Report
2012 July 8 Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Dallara Chevrolet 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:33:27 95.787 Report
2013 July 13 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:41:17 88.37 Report
July 14 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:35:02 94.177
2014 July 20* Sébastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Dallara Chevrolet 65* 114.075 (183.585) 1:15:44 90.37 Report
Mike Conway Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara Chevrolet 56* 98.28 (158.166) 1:20:36 73.168
2015* June 14 Josef Newgarden CFH Racing Dallara Chevrolet 85 149.175 (240.073) 1:39:00 90.41 Report
2016 July 17 Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 85 151.81 (244.314) 1:42:39 88.739 Report
2017 July 16 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 85 151.81 (244.314) 1:35:05 95.79 Report
2018 July 15 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 85 151.81 (244.314) 1:37:00 93.898 Report
2019 July 14 Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 85 151.81 (244.314) 1:30:16 100.9 Report
  • 1990: Race shortened due to rain.
  • 1996: Race ended with 1 1/2 laps remaining (93 of 95 laps completed) because of fatal crash on Lake Shore Boulevard. Driver Jeff Krosnoff and a track marshal were killed and the race was stopped near the impact point a lap later.
  • 2014: First race was postponed from Saturday to Sunday morning because of rain. The second planned race is still scheduled for Sunday afternoon which means two races in one day. Because of this, both races were shortened from 85 laps to 65 to compensate for the delay. The second race however was further shortened due to time limit.
  • 2015: Due to Toronto hosting the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, the race was moved to June to avoid conflicting with the games.

Support race winners

Indy Lights / Atlantic Championship

ARS/Indy Lights Atlantic Championship
Season Winning driver Season Winning driver
1986 Fabrizio Barbazza 1986 Not held
1987 Tommy Byrne 1987
1988 Calvin Fish 1988
1989 Gary Rubio 1989
1990 Paul Tracy 1990 Freddy Rhemrev
1991 P. J. Jones 1991 Stuart Crow
1992 Bryan Herta 1992 David Empringham
1993 Bryan Herta 1993 Claude Bourbonnais
1994 Steve Robertson 1994 Richie Hearn
1995 Greg Moore 1995 Richie Hearn
1996 Gualter Salles 1996 Patrick Carpentier
1997 Hélio Castro-Neves 1997 Memo Gidley
1998 Guy Smith 1998 Alex Tagliani
1999 Geoff Boss 1999 Not held
2000 Not held 2000 Andrew Bordin
2001 Townsend Bell 2001 David Rutledge
2002 Not held 2002 Michael Valiante
2003 2003 A. J. Allmendinger
2004 2004 Jon Fogarty
2005 2005 Antoine Bessette
2006 2006 Robbie Pecorari
2007 2007 Franck Perera
2008
2009 Sebastian Saavedra
2010 Jean-Karl Vernay
2011 Stefan Wilson
2012 Gustavo Yacamán
2013 Jack Hawksworth
2014 Alexandre Baron
2015 Spencer Pigot
2016 Felix Rosenqvist
Felix Rosenqvist
2017 Kyle Kaiser
Kyle Kaiser
2018 Patricio O'Ward
Santiago Urrutia
2019 Aaron Telitz
Oliver Askew

SCCA Trans-Am Series

Year Winning driver Car Ref
1993 Scott Sharp Chevrolet Camaro [10]
1994 Tommy Kendall Ford Mustang [11]
2004 Jorge Diaz, Jr. Jaguar XKR [12]
2005 Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKR [13]
2010 R. J. Lopez Chevrolet Corvette [14]

Pirelli World Challenge – GT

Season Winning driver Car
2007 Randy Pobst Porsche 911 GT3
2010 Randy Pobst (GT)
Peter Cunningham (GTS)
Volvo S60
Acura TSX
2013 Johnny O'Connell (GT)
Lawson Aschenbach (GTS)
Cadillac CTS-V
Chevrolet Camaro
2014 Race 1
Nick Tandy (GT)
Marcelo Hahn (GTA)
Dean Martin (GTS)
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Lamborghini Gallardo GT3
Ford Mustang Boss 302S
Race 2
Kuno Wittmer (GT)
Michael Mills (GTA)
Mark Wilkins (GTS)
Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Kia Optima

Pirelli World Challenge – Touring Car

Season Winning driver Car
2007 Peter Cunningham Acura
2010 Nick Wittmer Honda Civic Si
2013 Race 1
Michael Cooper (TC)
Joel Lipperini (TCB)
Mazdaspeed 3
Honda Fit
Race 2
Michael Cooper (TC)
Ernie Francis Jr. (TCB)
Mazdaspeed 3
Mazda 2

CASCAR Super Series

Year Race name Winner Car Ref
1999 Miller Lite 100 Robin Buck Pontiac [15]
2000 Exide 99 Kevin Dowler Ford [16]
2001 Robin Buck Pontiac [17]
2002 CASCAR Toronto Indy, presented by NAPA Kevin Dowler Ford [18]
2003 Avenue ACDelco 100 Jeff Lapcevich Chevrolet [19]
2004 CASCAR Toronto Indy 100 Jeff Lapcevich Chevrolet [20]
2005 ATTO 100 Kerry Micks Ford [21]

NASCAR Pinty's Series

The Indy Toronto circuit is based around Exhibition Place, but the heritage of NASCAR and Exhibition Place dates considerably earlier than the 2010 Canadian Tire Series round at Indy Toronto. In 1958, the 31st round of NASCAR's Grand National (now Cup Series) championship was held at the third stadium to be located at the site of BMO Field (Exhibition Stadium). That race marked the Cup debut of Richard Petty.

Year Race name Winner Car Ref
2010 Jumpstart 100 Andrew Ranger Dodge [22]
2011 Streets of Toronto 100 Andrew Ranger Dodge [23]
2016 Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto Alex Tagliani Chevrolet [24]
2017 Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto Kevin Lacroix Dodge [25]
2018 Pinty’s Grand Prix of Toronto Andrew Ranger Dodge [26]
2019 Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto Alex Tagliani Chevrolet [27]

Stadium Super Trucks

Year Winner Ref
2013 Justin Lofton [28]
Sheldon Creed
2014 Sheldon Creed [29]
Sheldon Creed
2015 Scotty Steele [30]
Keegan Kincaid [31]
2016 Matthew Brabham [32]
Sheldon Creed
2019 Cole Potts [33]
Gavin Harlien

Current series

Former series

A variety of racing series have previously run as support series on the race weekend. These include:[34]

Race day attendance

Year Attendance
1986 60,000
1987 64,000
1988 59,155
1989 61,156
1990 64,245
1991 61,264
1992 65,094
1993 66,225
1994 66,503
1995 68,238
2000 72,976
2001 73,628
2002 73,160
2003 73,255
2004 72,561
2005 73,155
2006
2007
2008 Not held
2009 15,000 est.[35]
2010
2011 25,000 est[36]

See also

References

  1. "List of FIA licensed circuits" (Press release). Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. December 14, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  2. "Toronto could shake up title hunt". ESPN. Archived from the original on July 16, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  3. Genova, Victor. "10 Random Toronto Indy Facts". Honda Indy Toronto. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  4. "Retro T.O.: The first Indy". The Grid TO. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  5. "Honda Indy Toronto gains momentum". ESPN. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  6. "Andretti Green buys Toronto Champ Car race". Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  7. "Toronto, Edmonton on 2009 IndyCar Schedule". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  8. Honda Indy Toronto News Archived December 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "Honda Indy Toronto track changes include new pit lane". Racer.com. Racer Media & Marketing, Inc. March 21, 2016. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  10. "1993 Trans-Am Box Scores" (PDF). SCCA Archives. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  11. "1994 Trans-Am Box Scores" (PDF). SCCA Archives. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 18, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  12. "2004 Trans-Am Box Scores" (PDF). SCCA Archives. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  13. "2005 Trans-Am Box Scores" (PDF). SCCA Archives. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  14. "SCCA Trans-Am Series - 2010 Season". RolfsRacing.com. Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  15. "CASCAR drivers shine at Molson Indy Toronto... Buck and Jefferson win". The Auto Channel. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  16. "Dowler wins at Toronto Indy". Motorsport.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  17. "2001 Molson Indy Toronto". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  18. "CASCAR - Toronto Indy Results and Summary". The Auto Channel. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  19. "CASCAR - Toronto Indy Summary & Results". The Auto Channel. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  20. "CASCAR: Lapcevich wins Toronto event". TSN.ca. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  21. "CASCAR: Micks takes Toronto win". TSN.ca. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  22. "Ranger wins Jumpstart 100". The Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  23. "Quebec's Ranger grabs win in Toronto NASCAR race". The Toronto Star. July 9, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  24. "Tagliani wins Pinty's Grand Prix of Toronto". TSN. July 16, 2016. Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  25. "Kevin Lacroix stays perfect on road courses in Pinty's win at Toronto". Motorsport.com. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  26. Gallacher, Alex (July 14, 2018). "Andrew Ranger Celebrates Third Toronto Victory". NASCAR Home Tracks. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  27. "2019 Pinty's Grand Prix results". Motorsport.com. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  28. DiZinno, Tony (July 15, 2013). "Toronto weekend round-up: Everything besides IndyCar". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  29. "Creed edges out Gordon in Stadium Super trucks; Paul Tracy fourth". Motorsport.com. July 20, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  30. "Scotty Steele Scores First SST Win at Honda Indy Toronto Race No. 2 at Toronto Scheduled for Sunday". Race-Dezert. June 14, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  31. Burns, Josh (June 15, 2015). "Keegan Kincaid Wins Stadium Super Trucks Race in Toronto". Off-Road. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  32. Bonkowski, Jerry (July 19, 2016). "Matt Brabham earns win and runner-up in Stadium Super Trucks at Toronto". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  33. McCubbin, Ashley (July 17, 2019). "Stadium Super Trucks Experience Successful, Exciting Return to Toronto". Popular Speed. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  34. "Exhibition Place". Ultimate Racing History. Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  35. "Toronto Indy organizers pleased despite low turnout". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. November 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  36. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved July 16, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Preceded by
Iowa 300
IndyCar Series
Honda Indy Toronto
Succeeded by
Honda Indy 200
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