Spectators and competitors will notice and benefit from infrastructure improvements on Belle Isle when they arrive for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
The work, which since last year’s Verizon IndyCar Series doubleheader includes more than $4 million in paving of the 2.35-mile street circuit and $250,000 in drainage improvements, is part of the long-term public-private partnership revitalization initiative started in 2007. The state Department of Natural Resources has operated Belle Isle Park as a state park since February 2014.
“We have a brand new racetrack with almost a mile of new pavement; our track is almost entirely concrete. It will be high grip and we know in combination with aero kits fans will see records fall every day,” Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix chairman Bud Denker said.
The backstretch, between Turns 6 and 7 of the 14-turn course, has been relocated to the left of the existing street to remove a slight kink, making the “straightaway more straight now,” according to Denker.
“We’re going to invest in Belle Isle because of the race being there but the state is investing in Belle Isle because the DNR is running it,” he said.
Last week, through a $50,000 donation from Tom Gores and Platinum Equity, all of the lights and fixtures lining the MacArthur Bridge have been replaced with high-efficiency LED technology, improving visibility and safety for visitors to the island. The lights surrounding the lagoon near Scott Fountain also are being replaced.
On- and off-track action May 29 is free and open to the public. For a list of family-friendly interactive entertainment, concert and on-track schedule and ticket information CLICK HERE.
“We tout the fact that our event is far beyond race cars on the racetrack. It’s a real Detroit, Michigan, event,” Denker said.
Students to spend day on Belle Isle for racing-related STEM programs
About 700 Detroit Public Schools fifth grade and pre-kindergarten students will participate May 28 in activities at the Raceway on Belle Isle Park based on racing concepts such as gravity, friction, aerodynamics and safety.
The field trip is part of a partnership between the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and PNC through the Grow Up Great and Fifth Gear education programs, which utilize real-world applications in racing that combine math and science themes to deepen interest in engineering and technology-based careers.
Molson returns to Toronto event
Molson Coors is returning to the Indy. Organizers of the Honda Indy Toronto announced a partnership with Molson Coors Canada to serve as the official beer and cider of Ontario’s largest annual sporting event through 2017.
This is the first year that Molson Coors will be associated with the event since founding and holding title sponsorship from 1986 to 2006.
“Toronto has an important place in the history of auto racing in Canada and Molson Coors has been a big part of that,” said Charlie Johnstone, president of the Honda Indy Toronto. “We are thrilled to welcome them back as a major partner of the event.”
Tristan Vautier, who drove the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda in the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, will drive the No. 19 entry in the Detroit doubleheader. With Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2013, Vautier finished 11th and 14th at Belle Isle. Rodolfo Gonzalez, who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut for Dale Coyne Racing in April at Barber Motorsports Park, will drive the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda at Belle Isle. ... Justin Wilson, who competed in the Indianapolis 500 and Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis this month for Andretti Autosport, will drive the No. 28 Andretti entry in the FIA Formula E Championship race June 4 in Moscow.