Reporting Jeff Gilbert
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DETROIT — (WWJ) Organizers of the Detroit Grand Prix say their repairs to the Belle Isle track are almost finished.
Parts of the track came apart during last year’s race. Grand Prix Chairman Bud Denker promised that the track would be repaired well before the 2013 race. But, the real deadline, Denker says, had to be before the first snow fell in the fall.
VIDEO: Jeff Gilbert checks out the Belle Isle improvements
“We could have a good winter,” he said. “We could have a long winter next year. We knew we had to get that work done this year.”
Denker took members of the Chevrolet racing team on a Tuesday afternoon tour of the track. Only a little more construction work was left to be done.
As part of the construction, the track will be lengthened. That will mean more straightaways, and more passing.
“I think it’ll be great for the fans, and great for us,” said driver Marco Andretti. “A lot more fun.”
The 2013 Detroit Grand Prix will be held the final weekend of May. For the first time, there will be Indy Car races on both Saturday and Sunday.
Through the 1980′s and 90′s, the Detroit Grand Prix was an annual event. It originated as a Formula One race on the streets of Downtown Detroit. It transitioned into all-American Indy cars, and in the 90′s moved to Belle Isle.
It was revived last year, after several off-and-on years. Denker says the goal is to make the race a permanent fixture on the Indy Car circuit.
“Our vision is to have this race here for a long time. If we’re going to have it here for a long time, why not have the best racing possible.”
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