Pit lane shifts sides in Toronto. Getty Images

Honda Indy Toronto moves pit lane to other side of track

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A slightly modified course redesign and a shift of pit lane from the inside of the circuit to the outside of the Exhibition Place circuit headline an announcement today from the Honda Indy Toronto, which celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year.

The changes owe primarily to hotel construction on the infield portion; however, the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock is still inside of the circuit where it has been.

Per an event spokesperson, there will be a cut at the Turn 11 exit to allow for access with tuggers, as IndyCar retains its infield location for car and engine preparation.

The race resumes in its traditional mid-July date this year, on July 17, after a one-year switch to mid-June to accommodate the Pan Am Games.

The full release details are below, also including a ticket promotion for an event, as are the year-on-year track map and grounds changes:

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The ticket sales season for the 30th year of INDYCAR racing on the streets of Toronto is now open, beginning with an exclusive renewal period for fans who purchased weekend grandstand tickets in 2015. Renewal customers will have access to a new program, the Champions Club, offering many exciting benefits, including Paddock Passes, access to the Verizon IndyCar Series pre-race grid walk and an opportunity to sign the start/finish line for the 2016 Honda Indy Toronto. Ticket sales for the general public will begin April 12.

The ticket launch coincides with the introduction of a modified track design – the first since 1996 and third since the inaugural race in 1986 – that accommodates Hotel X Toronto, newly constructed on the historic grounds of Exhibition Place, just inside the Princes’ Gates and opposite the Enercare Centre (previously known as the Direct Energy Centre). The new configuration features the relocation of hospitality suites, grandstands and famous pit lane.

“This year marks the 30th year of racing in Toronto,” said Jeff Atkinson, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. “We are thrilled to be able to provide a double feature to help mark the occasion, with the NASCAR Pinty’s Series headlining on Saturday and the Verizon IndyCar Series on Sunday. Fans are in for an exciting weekend of racing at the Honda Indy Toronto this summer.”

Pit lane will move to the north side of the track, starting at Turn 9 and extending back onto Princes’ Boulevard past Turn 11. The popular hospitality suites will also move to the north side. Both were previously located on the south side of Princes’ Boulevard. The Turn 11 grandstands will be located on the south side of pit lane and a new pedestrian and wheelchair track crossing has been added at Turn 9.

Renewals and the new track map are available at hondaindy.com/tickets or by calling (416) 588-7223 ext. 215. The exclusive renewal window ends at 7 p.m. on April 11.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.