CHAMPCAR/CART: Detroit Belle Isle Park improvements

Courtesy of CART Online RaceWay On Belle Isle Receives Major Improvements CART Online (December 17) -- Construction of a quarter-mile track extension at Belle Isle Park, home of the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix (Won this year by Greg ...

Courtesy of CART Online

RaceWay On Belle Isle Receives Major Improvements

CART Online (December 17) -- Construction of a quarter-mile track extension at Belle Isle Park, home of the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix (Won this year by Greg Moore), was recently completed to create a more competitive race track featuring greater speeds as well as opportunities for increased passing and more lead changes.

The project began in August and has resulted in a long, wide straightaway between Turns 2 and 3. Turn 3 is now a 90-degree right-hander at the end of the straight, followed by a pair of wide turns in Turns 4 and 5.

"We are delighted with the changes made on the Belle Isle circuit, and we think CART fans will be delighted as well," said Andrew Craig, CART president and chief executive officer.

"There is no question that these changes bring more opportunities for passing and exciting racing." J. Kirk Russell, CART vice president of competition, said, "After a final review of the track construction, CART is very pleased with the results of the collaborative effort between [race promoter] IMG, the City of Detroit, and CART. The track is now up to the job of providing a safe and competitive environment to host this level of racing."

Bud Stanner, president of the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, said the track extension will place Belle Isle in the upper echelon of temporary street circuits.

"Thanks to the City of Detroit and City Council, this new track extension will keep CART racing here in the Motor City into the next century," Stanner said. "We're confident the new extension will raise the level of competition at the Raceway on Belle Isle Park and make this one of the best temporary street courses in the U.S."

In addition to the track extension, a number of enhancements were also made to Belle Isle's infrastructure, including improved water drainage, new grass seed throughout and fresh pavement on the roads to be used for the new portion of the track. The ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, Round 8 of the FedEx Championship Series, is scheduled for June 5-7.

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Series INDYCAR