DETROIT – The massive undertaking of transforming Belle Isle Park into a world-class racing and entertainment facility has officially begun. Construction is well underway as barrier walls, grandstands and flooring is already being put in place in preparation for the return of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, June 1 to 3.
The 2.1-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit is a massive undertaking with tons of materials and hundreds of workers set to arrive on the island over the next eight weeks. Crowds in excess of 100,000 are expected to visit the island during the Grand Prix weekend. But before the cars and stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the Pirelli World Challenge Series and the Firestone Indy Lights Series roar to life on Belle Isle, hard work transforms the island.
“It is quite an experience to watch a vibrant island park like Belle Isle turn into a first-class racing venue right before our eyes,” said Bud Denker, event chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Fortunately we have an experienced construction team to rely on and they are already hard at work.”
Following the initial barrier and grandstand delivery, the installation of the elevated flooring for the hospitality chalets at the Grand Prix will commence and continue through the second week of May. More than 50,000 feet of temporary fencing will arrive on the island in mid-May and will be put in place around the race venue. The Raceway at Belle Isle Park will also feature approximately 27 miles of safety cabling and over 12,000 tires will be delivered to make up the temporary barrier walls used on the track. The final pieces will be put in place during the last week of May when the race competitors arrive on the island with more than 200 massive race transporters, motor coaches and hospitality units.