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IndyCar cancels Detroit GP, adds IMS race and double-headers

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IndyCar cancels Detroit GP, adds IMS race and double-headers
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Apr 6, 2020, 5:53 PM

IndyCar has announced further schedule revisions that include the cancelation of the Detroit Grand Prix, while turning two existing events into double-headers and adding an October race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The NTT IndyCar Series announced this morning that the Detroit GP, which had become the ‘new’ 2020 season-opening event following the shift of GP Indy to July and the Indy 500 to August, had been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from IndyCar stated that: “As a result of the current public health restrictions and mandates, Grand Prix officials determined it was not possible to host the event at the end of May in order to help protect the health, safety and well-being of the spectators, partners, volunteers, employees and event participants at the Detroit Grand Prix.”

Bud Denker, chairman of the Detroit GP said: “The Grand Prix is a very important event for Belle Isle Park, the City of Detroit, the City of Windsor and all of southeast Michigan. It is certainly disappointing that it won’t take place this year, but the health and safety of everyone at the Grand Prix is always our top priority.

“We looked at every possible scenario to reschedule the race, but all of them would have been too disruptive to the hundreds of fall events that will take place on Belle Isle. Some events, like weddings, family reunions and festivals, have been scheduled a year in advance and it would not be right to alter anyone’s plans.

“We look forward to the Grand Prix returning in 2021 as we continue our mission of revitalizing Belle Isle Park and providing significant support to the Belle Isle Conservancy, while helping to inject millions of dollars in economic benefit to our cities and our region.” 

Grand Prix ticketholders will be contacted in the near future regarding their 2020 ticket purchases. The 2021 Detroit GP is set for June 4-6, 2021.

Despite the loss of these two races – along with Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Circuit of The Americas races – there remain 15 races on the 2020 IndyCar schedule, thanks to both Iowa Speedway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca becoming double-headers, and the introduction of the ‘Harvest Grand Prix’ on the IMS road course on Saturday Oct. 3.

Iowa’s extra race will be held on Friday, July 17, the day before the originally scheduled Iowa 300, while Laguna Seca’s extra event will also be held the day before its previously scheduled date.

Explaining the changes, Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles declared: “We're committed to bringing fans as much on-track action as possible. Our updated schedule features additional racing at fan-favorite venues and adds to the total number of events on our calendar.

“The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic and challenging for everyone, so we have developed contingency plans which will allow us to respond to changing conditions. Our goal is to preserve as much racing competition as possible while prioritizing the health and safety of our participants and spectators…

“We're excited to return to Belle Isle in 2021 and know we'll put on a great show for everyone when we do. We also appreciate the flexibility and support of our event promoters at Iowa Speedway and Laguna Seca, who have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to host double-headers.”

IMSA, which also loses out as a result of the Detroit GP, stated: "IMSA continues to work with partners for possible alternative events to run an appropriately adjusted 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season."

Revised, tentative 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule

Saturday, June 6 - Texas Motor Speedway 
Sunday, June 21 - Road America 
Saturday, June 27 - Richmond Raceway 
Saturday, July 4 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 
Sunday, July 12 - Streets of Toronto 
Friday, July 17 - Iowa Speedway 
Saturday, July 18 - Iowa Speedway 
Sunday, Aug. 9 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 
Sunday, Aug. 23 - Indianapolis 500 Mile Race 
Sunday, Aug. 30 - World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway
Sunday, Sept. 13 - Portland International Raceway 
Saturday, Sept. 19 - WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca 
Sunday, Sept. 20 - WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca 
Saturday, Oct. 3 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 
TBD Expected Finale - Streets of St. Petersburg

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Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez