Options to replace the cancelled Honda Indy Toronto NTT IndyCar Series event are coming into view.
The Canadian street race was meant to be run next month across the July 9-11 weekend, but with COVID restrictions in place, the event was shuttered for the second consecutive year, leaving the series to look to its promoters for a replacement venue.
RACER has learned three leading scenarios have developed to solidify the calendar, which has 16 of 17 races confirmed. Mid-Ohio, due to be held over the July 4 weekend, is led by the same Green Savoree Race Promotions group that runs Toronto and is the first option to be converted into a doubleheader.
The second is World Wide Technologies Raceway (formerly known as Gateway), set for a Saturday race on August 21, which could be expanded to twin races on the Illinois oval. And the third option is to go without replacing Toronto and stick with a 16-race schedule. No other tracks are known to be under doubleheader consideration.
Timing could be the deciding factor on whether Mid-Ohio or the WWTR oval at Gateway would receive a second race. Both venues held doubleheaders in 2020, making a request to repeat the expansion from one to two rounds a familiar experience for the two facilities.
But the pacing of the existing calendar could be the key factor in the decision. Without Toronto on the schedule, Mid-Ohio is the only IndyCar race in place for July, which would give teams an ample amount of time to recover and prepare for the next event in Nashville on August 8. WWTR closes a busy month and sits as the third consecutive weekend of action that starts with Nashville, heads straight into the packed Indy road course round within NASCAR’s weekend at the Brickyard, and wraps with the last oval of 2021.
Will IndyCar double up at Mid-Ohio, add a fourth race to August, or leave the season at 16 races? An answer is expected soon.