June 4, 2010
Indy Toronto free for fans on opening day
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
For the first time in its 24-year-existence the three-day IZOD IndyCar Honda Indy Toronto will be free for race fans on opening day Friday, July 16.
The Ontario Honda Dealers Association — who is also the primary sponsor for Paul Tracy’s No. 15 KV Racing Technology entry — will underwrite the entire cost of the event.
“We are very pleased to make this opportunity available to everyone in Ontario and beyond,” Jim Proskos, owner of Cobourg Honda, speaking on behalf of the OHDA, said. “For anyone who has never seen open-wheel racing up close and personal, we encourage them to take advantage of this no-cost opportunity to see some of the world’s top race drivers tackling the streets of Toronto.
A key part of the Honda promotion is Tracy’s tie in with the Make-a-Wish foundation. The charity that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses, was named last month as recipient of any funds raised by Tracy, his KVRT team and the Honda dealers during the three-day race weekend at Exhibition Place.
Last year, Tracy helped raise more than $50,000 for the Wounded Warrior program that was matched by Honda and the auto giant has confirmed it will match donations to the Make-a-Wish charity this season once again.
“We will be asking fans to donate their spare change when they enter the gates to help make the wishes come true for our Canadian children who are faced with life-threatening medical conditions,” Proskos said.
Honda Indy general manger Charlie Johnstone called the free-admission promotion a major step forward in getting the race back to its glory days when as many as 175,000 fans passed through the turnstiles over the three-day celebration.
“This is one of the most significant initiatives in the history of the event for the community at large,” Johnstone said. “To have free access to a world class event is unprecedented and wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the Ontario Honda Dealers Association. For this we are truly grateful.”
According to a release from Honda, there will be no reserved seats on Friday (except for designated corporate suites), so fans can select any seats on a first-come/first-served basis, even in the gold and silver sections.
As well as the IZOD IndyCar series, fans will get to watch the return of stock car racing to the Indy with the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. On track as well will be the Acura Sports Car Challenge, Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship and the SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series.