Open-wheel racing on the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto will receive face lifts each of the next two years, following the securing of a federal grant. The silver anniversary race in 2011 will have infrastructure and safety enhancements thanks to a $770,000 infusion of cash by the Canadian government.
“Basically, the grant is going to allow us to replace a substantial amount of the barrier and fence,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner of Green Savoree Promotions. “Kim Green and I have to match those funds. Most of the barrier and fence here is 24 years old. Obviously, there have been so many advancements in design and technology of barriers and fencing. It's going to be much safer for the drivers and fans, and it's going to allow us to move in and move out much faster so less headache for the commuters in Toronto.
“We needed to tackle a development program and what that grant allowed was to advance our construction plans by a few years. It was a win-win-win for everybody.”
Green Savoree Promotions also owns the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. This is the second year of the IRL IndyCar incarnation of the Honda Indy Toronto – and is also the second year the event has been run by Green and Savoree, former co-owners of Andretti Green Racing. Savoree says the group is applying the lessons learned the first time around.
“In the racing vernacular, when you race somewhere you know what kind of setup to come back with the next year,” Savoree said. “There were a lot of lessons we learned last year. We applied the Honda process of reflection and went back to our offices here in Toronto and basically implemented a lot of changes.
“We used local vendors for the construction of the racetrack and it's been just seamless. We also changed media agencies, ticketing agencies – a lot of things we learned, even to the detail for the caterers for our suites. We're looking forward to an exciting weekend from a commercial standpoint.”