Andretti Green Toronto has signed a multi-year agreement for Honda Canada to take on the title sponsorship rights to Toronto's return to front-line US open-wheel racing when the IndyCar Series debuts in the city next July.
The former Champ Car world Series fixture agreed to take a year out without action in 2008 on the proviso that it would be among the additions for 2009, with Andretti Green Promotions taking over the running of the event in the process. The race was duly confirmed on the second schedule for the now-unified Indy Racing League series, allowing AGP to pursue backers.
"This is a great day for everyone that is a fan of IndyCar racing in Toronto,” said co-owner Michael Andretti, “Honda has been a great partner of ours for years, and this will take that partnership deeper into the future. Andretti Green and Honda plan to do great things with this event, and everyone associated with the event is very excited for July 2009 to get here."
Honda employs more than 22,000 Canadians, buys $1.1 billion of goods and materials annually from Canadian-based suppliers, and manufactures about 390,000 vehicles per year. It also provides the spec engine for the IndyCar Series.
"We are very pleased to be sponsoring this exciting event which has been one of the top attractions in Ontario since it first roared to life in 1986,” said Honda Canada executive vice-president Jerry Chenkin, “We salute Andretti Green for its commitment to bring the IndyCar Series back to the streets of Toronto as a premier open-wheel race series, powered by Honda."
Honda's backing of the Toronto event mirrors that of its involvement with another Andretti Green-promoted round, in St Petersburg, where the partnership has been in action since the street circuit's debut in 2005.