Not only are sections of the Raceway at Belle Isle being repaired, but the circuit for the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is being modified to enhance the competition, event organizers said this week.
The course will be extended one-quarter mile entering the right-hand Turn 3 to 2.346 miles, which was the track length utilized from 1997-2001.
Team Chevy IZOD IndyCar Series drivers visited the venue recently as construction workers continued replacing sections of concrete.
“It will be a more suitable racetrack for us with more passing opportunities,” said Sebastien Bourdais, who competed for Dragon Racing this past season. “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 doubleheaders during the 2013 season. Both races will be broadcast on ABC.
Indycar racing returned to Belle Isle in June after a three-year absence, with Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing winning the race that was red-flagged to repair two sections of the circuit. Sixty of the scheduled 90 laps were completed.
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 3000 square feet of asphalt will be installed.