The Belle Isle Detroit GP showed off its revised course to a visiting group of Chevrolet's IZOD IndyCar Series on Tuesday. The course will be extended one-quarter mile entering the right-hand Turn 3, raising the track's overall length to 2.346 miles, which was the track length utilized from 1997-'01 in the race's previous iteration as a CART IndyCar event.
“It will be a more suitable racetrack for us with more passing opportunities,” said Sebastien Bourdais. “It's all good news. (Event chairman) Bud Denker is planning quite a few more things to improve passing, which is a sign of commitment. What I had to say as a suggestion he already had thought of."
The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on June 1-2 will be the first of three doubleheader IndyCar events during the 2013 season. Both races will be broadcast on ABC, with Saturday's race featuring a standing start and the Sunday race a rolling start.
After an engineering evaluation of the circuit, workers began removing deteriorated concrete areas of the racing surface, evaluating and repairing storm drainage systems and installing reinforced concrete areas. About 80,000 square feet of concrete and 3,000sq.ft. of asphalt will be installed.
“It's a big effort from Bud and everyone,” Bourdais said. “They have gone the extra mile when all they had to do was patch some areas.”
The excursion to the island park was among the stops in Detroit for Team Chevy drivers Oct. 8-9. The Astor Cup and Andretti Autosport car of IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay accompanied the drivers to visits at Ilmor Engineering, the GM Heritage Center and Pratt-Miller.
“I enjoyed being able to thank all who worked so hard to help make this championship a reality,” Hunter-Reay said.