HISTORY OF TORONTO MOTORSPORTS PARK
From its humble beginnings in 1954 as a Sunday-only drag racing facility, while still operating as an active air field known as Kohler Airstrip, Toronto Motorsports Park has strategically developed into one of North America’s most prosperous motorsports entertainment venues.
Toronto Motorsports Park has a diverse facility, currently housing an NHRA sanctioned quarter-mile drag strip, a challenging and versatile three kilometre road course and a handlebar gripping motocross track. The availability to so many world-class tracks has led to the development of several track operated events, as well as high demand from third-party event organizers to rent the facility. Track run programs and events at current include, the Exotic Dream Car Experience, F2000 Driving Experience, motorcycle and car instructional courses, Take it to the Track drag racing events for street cars, and TMP’s signature drag racing event, the Canadian Nitro Nationals, held on Canada Day weekend annually.
Current track owner Uli Bieri purchased the facility, which at the time only housed the quarter-mile dragstrip, in 1997. In the year 2000 a 3.0 kilometre Road Course was designed and built with multiple configurations, including 1.8 and 1.2 kilometre lengths, so it would suit driver skills from novice to pro. Safety was the main concern in designing and building the track, which led to a flat course that provides plenty of run off area. During the past 20 years, under Bieri’s guidance, the track has also undergone major upgrades in creature comforts with the construction of a three-storey, seven suite VIP tower overlooking the drag strip, and more recently the completion of modern washroom and shower facilities.
In 2001 the track name was officially changed to Toronto Motorsports Park and lapping days for cars and motorcycles, as well as a variety of instructional programs, were introduced, all of which continue today.
The objective of Toronto Motorsports Park remains to encourage people to enjoy motorsports, but to do so in a controlled and safe environment. On-track practice and instruction not only provide the opportunity for anyone to experience the potential of their vehicle, but also gives them the chance to develop skills that make on-road driving and riding safer.
The following is an overview of the changes the facility has undergone throughout the years.
Kohler Airstrip gives way to Kohler Drag Strip, at least on Sundays.
The tracks direction was changed from North/South to East/West, the way it remains today.
The track became Kohler Superboss Dragway and joined the NHRA as part of North Central Division 3.
The newly named Cayuga 1320 Dragway held the first race in the CanAm series of drag racing.
Now known as Dragway Park, the track was shifted to the North East Division 1 region of NHRA.
Dragway Park held its first NHRA Winston Championship Series meet hosting the biggest names in drag racing.
Following an ownership and name change to Cayuga Motorsports Park, the track joined the IHRA.
Cayuga Motorsports Park hosted the first IHRA national event outside of the United States, the Summer Nationals.
Purchased by Uli Bieri in 1997, Cayuga Dragway Park once again joined the NHRA.
3.0 kilometre road course is constructed adjacent to the drag strip.
With opportunity to again host a national event, Cayuga Dragway Park returned to IHRA sanctioning.
Cayuga Dragway Park changed to its current namesake of Toronto Motorsports Park.
The inaugural IHRA AC Delco Canadian Nationals was held August 9-11 and attracted a capacity crowd.
The last year that an IHRA national event was hosted at the facility.
The inaugural Canadian Nitro Nationals takes place, quickly becoming Canada's largest drag race.
Returned to NHRA sanctioning.
Hosted first NHRA national meet in more than 25 years.