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Detroit’s IndyCar GP to be moved downtown for 2023

The proposal, first reported here in September, will see the IndyCar and IMSA races shift from the man-made island back to the city, incorporating part of the track first used by Formula 1 1982-88 then CART Indy car 1989-91.

Over the last five weeks, Grand Prix representatives have met with Detroit residents, business leaders, community groups and district representatives regarding the relocation from Belle Isle, which first held the race in 1992.

A statement from the Detroit GP organisers said that the “positive reaction and the excitement that we have seen fro the community about the Grand Prix coming back Downtown reinforces our belief that this relocation will provide a significant benefit to the City, its residents and our local businesses for the future.

“We thank Mayor Duggan, the City of Detroit tea, Council president Brenda Jones and everyone on the Detroit City Council for their input and their support throughout this process. In addition, we appreciate the support of the business community, including the efforts of Jim Campbell of General Motors, Eric Larson of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Dan Loepp of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Sandy Pierce of Huntington Bank and Cindy Pasky of Strategic staffing Solutions, for helping to bring the Grand Prix back downtown.”

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The race was first held on the man-made island of Belle Isle in 1992 but Indy car’s governing body CART let its contract lapse at the end of 2001.

Following his involvement as head of Super Bowl XL Committee in 2006, Roger Penske revealed he was to revive the race for 2007, but it ran for only two years before the economic crisis took its toll.

The event returned in 2012, became a double-header the following year, and has been a fixture on the IndyCar schedule immediately after the Indianapolis 500, although it was one of several IndyCar and IMSA events that fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Both series were able to return to Belle Isle this year.

Next season, as the event shifts forward from two weeks after Indy (as per 2021) to its traditional slot of just one week after, it will feature just a single IndyCar race. This is to try and ease the burden on crews, for whom Detroit will be the fourth in a five-consecutive-weekend spell (including Indy 500 qualifying weekend).

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