DETROIT— One of the most action-packed events in racing will double its excitement next season with the announcement that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will host two IZOD IndyCar Series races on one special weekend, May 31-June 2, 2013.
Competing on the newly-repaved Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit, the turbocharged, hi-tech IndyCars will host two separate championship-points races at the “Dual in Detroit” the weekend following the Indianapolis 500. Both IndyCar races will be 70 laps in length (previous Belle Isle race distances were set for 90 laps) with the first race held on June 1 and the second race to be run the following day. IZOD IndyCar Series officials announced their 2013 race schedule yesterday, unveiling three “doubleheader” race weekends. The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will host the very first twinbill, serving as the debut event for the exciting new format.
The two races will also feature another new on-track innovation being unveiled in the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series – standing starts. The start of the Saturday race will feature the full field of IndyCars beginning the event from a standing start format for what’s expected to create its share of early-race drama and excitement on the race track while Sunday’s race will begin with the traditional rolling start.
Both “Dual in Detroit” IndyCar races will be televised live on ABC, creating back-to-back days of unprecedented national network exposure and racing coverage for Belle Isle and its beautiful waterfront shared by Detroit and Windsor, Canada.
“We’re so excited to host the first IndyCar doubleheader of the season at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” said Bud Denker, event chairman of the Grand Prix. “What a terrific weekend this is going to be in the Motor City as we unveil the ‘Dual in Detroit’ and standing starts for the IZOD IndyCar Series along with all of the other great racing action that weekend with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series and the Firestone Indy Lights. It’s certainly going to be a challenge for all the IndyCar teams and drivers to gear up for two races over two days on the tough Belle Isle street circuit but that’s why they are the best at what they do. With all of the action on and off the track that weekend, the fans will be the real winners at the Grand Prix. The exposure Detroit, Windsor and our region will gain from two days of back-to-back coverage on ABC/ESPN, is really immeasurable.”
Work continues this week on the repaving of the Raceway at Belle Isle Park circuit as approximately 80,000 square feet of concrete and 3,000 square feet of asphalt is being installed on the roadways in preparation for next year’s races.
“The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix team is enhancing Belle Isle to make it a more challenging, world-class road course for all the great series competing on the island,” said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. I’m also thrilled that the IZOD IndyCar Series picked Belle Isle to introduce its new dual-race format, so the IndyCar drivers will run both Saturday and Sunday. It promises to be a great weekend at a great venue – one that will make us proud, both as Detroiters and as race fans.”
Tickets for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix are expected to go on sale in November but fans can sign up for advance ticket sales online now at www.DetroitGP.com.