IRL: Detroit Belle Isle Park on 2007 schedule

INDYCAR SERIES TO RACE DETROIT'S BELLE ISLE PARK IN 2007 DETROIT, Friday, Sept. 29, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series will headline automobile racing's return to Detroit in 2007. Series officials joined city leaders and IndyCar Series ...

INDYCAR SERIES TO RACE DETROIT'S BELLE ISLE PARK IN 2007

DETROIT, Friday, Sept. 29, 2006 -- The IndyCar® Series will headline automobile racing's return to Detroit in 2007. Series officials joined city leaders and IndyCar Series championship-winning car owner Roger Penske to announce the addition of the Detroit Grand Prix to the 2007 schedule.

The race is scheduled for Sept. 2 on Detroit's picturesque Belle Isle, an island park located just east of the central business district on the Detroit River. The 13-turn Raceway at Belle Isle will be staged on 2.096 miles of roadway on the island's western tip.

"This is a great day for the city of Detroit as the Motor City welcomes back one of its exciting summertime events," said Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. "Detroit has a rich history of being one of the nation's best sports towns and excels at hosting large scale events like the Grand Prix."

Detroit has hosted several recent marquee sporting events including the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and Super Bowl XL in February. The Detroit Grand Prix will serve as the IndyCar Series' penultimate race.

"We saw with the Super Bowl earlier this year that large events can be the catalyst to move other projects forward in the city," said Penske, who serves as Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership as well as the organizer of the Grand Prix. "Unlike past race events in Detroit, money earned from the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix events will go back into a fund earmarked for Belle Isle Park improvements and maintenance for residents to enjoy year round."

Detroit hosted Formula One races on a downtown street course from 1982-88. In 1989, CART raced open-wheel cars on the downtown street circuit. In 1990, the open-wheel race was moved to Belle Isle Park. The last race was held on the island in 2001.

"We are excited about racing in Detroit," said Brian Barnhart, president and COO of the Indy Racing League. "The island course will prove to be a worthy challenge for our drivers while at the same time providing fans with an exciting racing experience."

The IndyCar Series has announced the following events for 2007:
March 24 -- Homestead-Miami Speedway*
April 1 -- Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.*
April 21 -- Twin Ring Motegi
April 29 -- Kansas Speedway
May 27 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway*
June 3 -- The Milwaukee Mile*
June 9 -- Texas Motor Speedway
June 24 -- Iowa Speedway*
June 30 -- Richmond International Raceway
July 8 -- Watkins Glen International*
July 14 -- Nashville Superspeedway*
Aug. 11 -- Kentucky Speedway*
Sept. 2 -- Raceway at Belle Isle
Sept. 9 -- Chicagoland Speedway*

The remainder of the 2007 IndyCar Series schedule will be announced at a later date.

* denotes Indy Pro Series event to be held.

-credit: irl

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Brian Barnhart