The more things change…

The more things fade into oblivion… T-minus 3 weeks and counting til the Honda Indy Toronto suffers the indignity of a return without fanfare… or at this point… fans…

So a little birdie called me this week to tell me that on top of cutting the staffing to about 30 percent of previous years. (Guess since they’ve obliterated the grandstands, they don’t need anyone to staff them…)
They are not putting in any run offs.


That’s right. On an uber tight street course, with two fields of drivers most of whom have never driven here, in cars that have never been on this circuit, they (the royal “they”, the braintrust that are driving this apple cart) are eliminating the one, not even certain, means of preventing carnage and destruction. Apparently AGR found out that while they own the race, they don’t own the barriers. An independant crane company was paid to install and then remove them every year. So rather than fork out the extra money for the barriers and tires that these runoffs require, they are just going to put an extra layer of tires.

Those sitting in the Turn 3 grandstands better wear flack jackets…
(oh no wait, the got rid of the Turn 3 stands, as well as the Turn 6/7 stands, and half of the Silvers, and the outside of Turn 1 if I’m not mistaken… nevermind, the 10 people that know about the race and might show up should be safe… wish I could say the same for the drivers and corner workers… )

I only have one thing to say…

Are they out of their fucking minds??

To save a couple of thousand dollars they are willing jeopardize the event, the teams lively hood and the drivers?? Not to mention track workers and spectators!

Are they really that arrogant and that cheap?
Have they done zero research?
Do they want this to be the first AND last Honda Indy Toronto?

They already think this event is just going to magically happen with pretty much ZERO promotion. It’s less than a month and there is nary a poster, billboard, checkered flag anywhere! Oh wait, I did see a poster hastily taped on the door of Hooters when I walked by the other day…


*don’t know why it’s still sideways… maybe it’s a metaphor… *
Yup… Ed Carpenter, Graham Rahal, and Marco Andretti… Those three will get the Canadian’s buzzing!! Not!

What used to be a spectacular event that the city and all the local downtown establishments would get decked out for and promote months in advance is flying so far under the fucking radar right now I’m not even convinced it’s actually happening.

The least and the lesser were on breakfast television last Thursday.
Really, who better to have up here promoting the race and getting people interested than Marco Andretti? I mean it’s not like local hero Paul Tracy is in the race or anything… Pshaw….

They were on for barely two minutes and talked mostly about the Andretti family. Michael did mention how AGR promotions came to acquire the race. (And to his credit, you can tell how much he loves this race/track) but that was it. Nothing about the race, the support series, the fact that Tracy, Tags & Hinch will be racing, hell they didn’t even plug Parkco’s Gillette publicity stunt later that day (which may or may not have happened as it rained all day)

One thing I’ve noticed, AGR promotions is in the business of promoting AGR. Every tidbit of “news” surrounding the race revolves around AGR drivers. (The weekly pit notes this week talked about the BT appearance and included quotes from the princess about racing in Toronto.
I mean it’s not like Paul Tracy announced this week that he was running at the Glen so he could be better prepared for Toronto…
Maybe Paul should have struck a deal with AGR for the race, then at least he would be getting some media play.

That said, PT and Vasser are in town tomorrow to make his sponsorship announcement. (Honda Canada) Honda is now running their big “race event” sale ads, and using the show car in their commercials and saying the word Indy multiple times… what they AREN’T saying is that the RACE is happening in Toronto in 3 fricken weeks! Not even a silent graphic with a date and url. Fuck! that’s so basic and simple.

My heart is breaking for my home race. The city should be ramping up, yet there is barely a whisper that it’s around the corner.

Anyway, I’m heading down to the press conference in the morning. Hopefully the “real” journalists will bring up the lack of barriers and promotion, otherwise I just may have to get a little brassy tomorrow morning…


6 responses to “The more things change…

  1. That is disgraceful.

    It looks like they are hoping that the equity from previous events will attract fans. But not spending money on marketing is a self fulfilling prophecy.

    ‘If we don’t spend money on marketing, we save money. If there is less awareness we won’t need so many temporary grandstands and….oh look, we save more money!’

  2. just think how much money they could save on grandstands, run-offs and marketing if they just didn’t have a race.

  3. Meesh, you’re heart may be breaking, but are you surprised? A promoter out of touch with the fans, basically carrying a sense of entitlement rather than a desire to give fans a great show. Of course, they have the finances guaranteed from our tax dollars, so why would they invest in a decent website, or experienced customer service employees, or honest-to-goodness PROMOTION to get people excited? Take a look at the website for the Toronto rac eif you haven’t lately. Tell me that a twelfth-grader couldn’t design a better one, and eliminate the syntax errors and bad grammar to boot. Read Paul Tracy’s bio on the “driver” links – you could have pounded out a better bio in about ten minutes over a beer, and you’d probably remember to mention Paul’s fantastic accomplishments on the very same circuit (something the brainwaves at AGR somehow neglected to include). And they expect to incite any excitement in the fan base with that bio? The whole thing is an insult to the race, its history, and its fans. Why the h3ll are they trying so hard to kill the Toronto race – that’s the question that Charlie should answer.

    • nothing to disagree with there BooBoo. (is this my BooBoo!? Am I gonna see you in Turn 10 over the weekend at all?)

      I have seen the website. It’s embarrassing.

      I don’t understand why you would resurrect something only to kill it again.

      • Yup, it’s your BooBoo. Not an evil imposter like one of your other commenters. I won’t be at Turn ten, though I might go into town for the Argos game that Saturday afternoon. If anyone does end up at the beer gardens over that weekend, I hope they bring hearing protection.

        • LOL at the evil imposter! he’s not evil, but definitely has a different tone…

          Awww I’m sad! if you hang out in town for beer after the game and plan on meeting up with the boys, send me a text and I’ll try to come find you if I’m all done at the track for the day. (you know my pace on race weekends, I was barely able to get to the beer garden on site to visit)

          Gears is coming down too! He’d probably love to catch up with you guys.

          Honestly, they don’t sound as bad this year. (new exhaust thingamabob) but the smell will still make you toss your beer, that’s for sure…

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