The first street race of its kind in the city drew not only huge crowds to Toronto’s waterfront but produced a Gemini award in the category of Best Canadian Sports Program or Series.
It is 1986. Toronto is hosting its first Molson Indy CART race. The course is a street race along the Lakeshore Blvd. waterfront and through the Exhibition grounds. It is 2.86 km (1.78 miles) of motorized power and speed.
In the early morning hours of July 19th, the production crew begins shooting video that would become the one hour television documentary, “The Race Is On”. This is the preliminary events day, showcasing the cars, pit crew trials, all the preparation required to get a CART car ready for race day.
Producer Michael A. Charbon and director Paul Hollidge were instrumental in getting the Indy program from concept to production.
Previously, I had worked with Michael on a number of music videos, corporate and documentary projects. Michael would go on to build his own production company, MAC Productions Inc., producing a variety sports and reality-based programming.
My role was post production supervisor offering editorial expertise and post production skills to the project.
This first Molson Indy Toronto was won by Bobby Rahal on July 20, 1986. The event quickly became Canada’s second largest annual sporting event, eclipsed only by the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, with three-day attendance figures routinely around 170,000 people.
The Molson Indy Toronto would run from 1986 – 2007. It then became the Honda Indy Toronto from 2009.