time is running out for my beloved home race. Ok, technically it ran out a couple of months ago… but today is April 30th. The oft cited deadline for the final decision regarding the resurrection of the Toronto race on the 2009 IndyCar schedule
Mr. McNulty at the Toronto Sun & Mr. Pappone at the Globe & Mail both ran articles yesterday about the negotiations to save the Grand Prix of Toronto. (which will likely be renamed yet again, reacquiring the former Indy moniker that we never could seem to shake even after two ) Both cited a number of unnamed sources “close” to the talks and referred to the almost identical quote from GPAT Prez Charlie Johnstone (obviously the “this is our standard press release answer for now”) Neither had anything official from AGR. (btw Dean, it’s KEVIN Savoree not Dennis)
While the Globe had some very generic non-substance quotes from Toronto Tourism, an Indy Car “spokesperson” and the deputy mayor, the Sun had a quote from Bob Singleton who was on the gravy train during the Molson years (for both T.O. and Vancouver), then headed up the now defunct San Jose GP. (it was axed before mergification) What they fail to disclose however is that he is now vice-president of corporate operations at Downsview Park’s Action Sports Complex. Ya that place, where he wants to build a race track… to host NASCAR… Something that McNulty would love to see happen… So, his (Bob’s) somewhat tainted view of costs/spending should be taken with a grain of salt as he stands to benefit either way. (it is rumoured that the race would move up to the Downsview location for 09)
fwiw… neither of the autosports guys at the Toronto Star touched the subject. (likely realizing that it could actually be more hurtful than helpful at this juncture, and they actually enjoy open wheel racing over the cabs…)
All that aside, there couldn’t possibly be a worse time to be negotiating this race in the court of public opinion, flogging the fact (allegedly) that AGR is looking for handouts. er… more handouts from the government. We just went through a 2 day wildcat transit strike (begging for more government money) which could escalate into something even uglier down the line. GM announced they are cutting 1000 jobs at their Oshawa Plant. (begging for more government money) Gas prices are stupid, and the world is in an Eco-holic stupor of late. Everything is Green, Green, Green. (and we’re not talking about the flag being waved) In fact I was down at the Grand Prix site this weekend, while people trampled over the faded start/finish line on their way into the Eco Living show. (I guess it’s a plus that the cars that would be running use ethanol?)
At any rate… we should hear tomorrow, according to these guys, what the final decision is. Once they secure the race, they best start securing some Canadian drivers besides Marty Roth (who???) for the field, or this is going to be a much steeper climb up the recovery ladder.