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DATE News (chronologically)
09/03/10
irl
Could Honda move Toronto race to Mosport? UPDATE #2 A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com I am writing to you in response to Adriano Manocchia article about Mosport being unsafe to hold an IndyCar race.  I say he is wrong.  If he happened to do a little research he would have found out that Mr. Panoz did some major improvements to the track back in 2000 and made it FIA approved and widened the track to 40 feet.  Has he ever been to Watkins Glen?  It has the guardrails just like Mosport and if IndyCar showed interest in coming to Mosport ,they would make any improvements to the track that where necessary  to hold the race.  They should combine IndyCar with the ALMS, that would be a fantastic weekend and they would get over 100,000 fans easily for a weekend like that.  Also Mosport is a safe track as much as Road America, or Road Atlanta. Bert Walsh Kingston Ont., Canada 

[Editor's Note: See Adriano's photos from Mosport]

Another reader writes, Man, am I torn about this concept!  Almost every year since I was 8 or 9 years old until the mid-90s, my dad and I would make the pilgrimage down to turn 5 (or Moss corner) to watch the Can-Am or Trans-Am.  That was back in the days before they widened the track when two cars could barely fit side-by-side.  What a thrill to watch them launch off of 5 and up the Mario Andretti straight flat out and over the crest at the top!  Even today in its much wider and smoother format, it's thrilling to watch high-horsepower prototypes or NCTS stock cars wind it out around the circuit.  A big part of me would love to see the next generation IndyCar with upwards of 750-800 HP scream around this track - it would be simply jaw-dropping!

Sadly, I think a combination of technology and financial mismanagement/abandonment has prevented Mosport from remaining at the pinnacle of North American road racing.  I'm not sure anybody, even somebody with the deep pockets of Don Panoz, would want to open their wallets to spend what would sure to be millions to bring the barriers, run-off areas, paddock up to date.  I haven't been there in a few years, but as I recall, there isn't even a main grandstand there anymore.  While countless drivers (the true road racers anyways, the Dixons, the Powers, the Wilsons and yes, the Tracys) in IndyCar would foam at the mouth at an opportunity to run Mosport in an open-wheel car, I just don't see it happening.  A single death to a driver or fan due to inadequate facilities would cast such a pall over this magnificent circuit, and this great old lady of North American road racing simple doesn't deserve such a bad rap.  Let her continue to age gracefully and proudly host sports cars and developmental series and show the next generation's up and comers what a real driving track is all about. Rob Knowles

09/03/10 Our photographer, Adriano Manocchia, who was at the Mosport track last weekend for the ALMS race, had this to say about this rumor - That track is by far the most unsafe venue I've ever been to. It's extremely fast (the prototypes only braked for 3 corners) and there's not a lot of runoff room. Where there are concrete walls, they're rarely more than a couple feet high and the Andretti Straight just has ancient Armco held in with old wooden posts, and we saw what happen to that when it got hit. The fan fencing can easily be stepped over just about everywhere and there are big gaps in it. On my way down the straight before the accident, I came across 6 fans standing right down on the guardrail. One of them even had his foot up on it and there was an young kid, maybe 8 years old, with them. Even if the fans stay where they're supposed to, they're still very close to the track. The radiator from the Porsche was laying up against the spectator fence. They're going to end up killing a lot of people and if IndyCar goes there it'll be sooner rather than later. It's just not safe for fans, drivers, or anyone else involved, and the worst part is that we found out, after the fact, that they didn't even have a medivac copter on the grounds. There was one standing by from Toronto if needed, and they almost needed it twice. By now it's become pretty clear that Panoz isn't going to put any serious money into the track, and it would take serious money to make a difference. I think it would be best to keep open wheel away from Mosport. Adriano

09/03/10 I am sitting here on the shores of lovely Pigeon Lake near Peterborough trying to digest just how Ontario race fans are going to plan and pay for two major motor racing events within days of one another next season.

While the IZOD IndyCar series has not officially announced a 2011 date for the Honda Indy Toronto you can pretty pencil in the July 8-10 weekend.

Now along comes the Grand Prix of Mosport, which has become the de facto big racing deal of the summer in Ontario, and its new date of July 21-24 and you can see the potential conflict. Attending a race weekend is no cheap holiday. It also takes planning for time off work, hotel reservations or camping, baby sitting, dog and car sitting etc.

Something has got to give if you have a pair of such weekends almost back to back.

If I am Honda Indy general manager Charlie Johnstone I would be real concerned.

After all Mosport's boss Myles Brandt oversees a race that regularly draws upwards of 40,000 to the Bowmanville track in good times and bad. And most of those are of the hard core race fan varietyā€¯ the exact people the Honda Indy wants back after several years of re-building.

I'm going to throw this out for digestion: What if the Honda Indy Toronto were to be a companion race to the American Le Mans Series event at Mosport?

It certainly would solve a lot of issues and might even challenge the two Montreal - Formula One and NASCAR - races for attendance.

After all the IndyCars and ALMS already pair up at Long Beach and Mid-Ohio, why not at Mosport? Toronto Sun

[Editor's Note:  Won't happen as AR1.com has it on good word that Honda views Mosport as being substandard.]

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