Ontario Honda Dealers Association Announces 'Free Friday' at 2011 Honda Indy Toronto

Ontario Honda dealers sponsor free admission for second consecutive year

TORONTO, May 10 /CNW/ - To help racing fans and those new to the sport enjoy the speed, sound and excitement of IndyCar racing, the Ontario Honda Dealers Association (OHDA) will underwrite the cost of admission for everyone to the opening day of racing at the 2011 Honda Indy Toronto, Friday, July 8 .  This is the second year that OHDA has offered this promotion, which includes an important fundraising component to benefit Make-A-Wish® Canada.

Visitors who attend the Honda Indy Toronto on Free Friday are asked to give a donation to Make-A-Wish® Canada volunteers upon entering in lieu of admission, which Honda Canada will match dollar-for-dollar.  Last year, more than $112,000 was raised over the two-weeks of IndyCar racing in Canada (Toronto and Edmonton) to help make wishes come true for Canadian children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

"Free Friday was a great success last year and we're grateful to Honda and the Ontario Honda Dealers Association for doing it again as we celebrate 25 years of racing on the streets of Toronto this summer," said Charlie Johnstone, vice president and general manager of the Honda Indy Toronto. "Having free access to an event of this stature is truly a fantastic opportunity and wouldn't be possible without such outstanding corporate partners."

"We're excited to provide fans, especially those new to the sport, with a chance to witness first-hand just how exciting IndyCar racing is," said Brian Tafler, president of the OHDA.  "We hope that fans will be generous at the gate to ensure that heroic children who live with challenging medical conditions can live their own memorable experiences through our partnership with Make A Wish Canada."

There will be no reserved seats on Friday (except for designated corporate suites), so fans can select any seats on a first-come/first-served basis, even in the Gold and Silver sections around the track.

Festival-goers will have the opportunity to experience an exciting and diverse race schedule throughout race weekend, which includes the IZOD IndyCar Series, Firestone Indy Lights, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship and, for the first time, the Ferrari Challenge.

The Honda Indy Toronto, scheduled for July 8-10, 2011, marks the 9th race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season. Tickets for the Honda Indy Toronto are available at www.HondaIndyToronto.com/tickets.  Ticket information is also available by calling 877.503.6869.

About the Ontario Honda Dealers Association:
The Ontario Honda Dealers Association, which was founded in 1989, represents 78 Honda dealers located in 62 communities throughout Ontario, which is home to the two Honda of Canada Mfg. assembly plants that produce Civic, Canada's number one selling car, in addition to the Acura MDX, ZDX and CSX.  The 78 Honda dealerships in Ontario, which have a proven track record for providing maximum customer satisfaction, employ approximately 3,000 associates.

About Honda Indy Toronto
The Honda Indy Toronto, Ontario's largest annual sporting event, takes place from July 8 to 10 on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto.  With 25 years of Indy car racing history in Toronto, the Honda Indy Toronto is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and features a week-long festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities. For more information, visit www.HondaIndyToronto.com.

About Make-A-Wish Canada
Make-A-Wish Canada is a dynamic wish-granting organization that brings hope, strength and joy to children across Canada living with life-threatening medical conditions.  Along with the national office, seven independent regional chapters grant magical wishes to children in need from coast-to-coast.  Make-A-Wish Canada is an affiliate of Make-A-Wish® International, the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 250,000 children since 1980.  To learn more, visit www.makeawish.ca.

About Honda Canada
Honda Canada Inc. was founded in 1969. Honda Canada has produced more than 5 million cars and trucks since 1986 at its two assembly facilities in Alliston, Ontario, including the popular Civic Coupe, Sedan and Civic Si models.  Since the Civic was first launched in 1973, Canadians have bought more than 1.6 million Civics nationally, 930,000 of which are still on the road today. Honda Canada has invested more than $2.6 billion in Canada and each year it sources nearly $1.1 billion in goods and services from Canadian suppliers. Honda Canada has sold more than 3.4 million Honda and Acura passenger cars and light-duty trucks in Canada.

SOURCE Honda Canada Inc.

For further information:

Richard Jacobs      Mark James
Honda Canada      Media Profile
(416) 543-6593      (416) 400-5263
richard_jacobs@ch.honda.com     mark.james@mediaprofile.com


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