Detroit — Among the events of summer, rolling out just after the Memorial Day weekend and the Indianapolis 500, the IndyCar double-header on Belle Isle has found its place.
The televised image of the Detroit skyline, as the cars race on the brief straight between turns 13 and 14, provides a glossy look at an often poorly portrayed city.
On the first weekend of June 2016, after the hoopla surrounding the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 over the previous weekend, the racers and high-pitched whine of high-performance engines will be back for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
For the fourth consecutive season, two full-points races in the IndyCar Series will run on the substantially resurfaced 2.35-mile track, race officials announced Tuesday.
“We are excited that for the second consecutive year, the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans will be the only double-header race weekend on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule in 2016,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the grand prix.
“With great racing and so much at stake during one weekend, the Dual in Detroit really adds a lot of excitement and value to our fans, our partners and the competitors.”
The IndyCar races will be broadcast on ABC from 3:30-6 p.m. June 4-5.
A major resurfacing initiative is complete on the track and on, what is for the rest of the year, the roadway of Belle Isle Park, and officials intend to reduce the time traffic and activities in the state park are disrupted.
Last year, more of the island was accessible than many visitors may have realized.
Major work is required in an area around turn 1, directly off the MacArthur Bridge, as motorists turn right to travel west on Sunset Road and the perimeter roadway.
While the right turn is prohibited during preparations, much of the eastern end of the island, including the Belle Isle Casino, the James Scott Memorial Fountain and the unobstructed, across the Detroit River views of downtown Detroit, are accessible.
But the access was not apparent last year.
“What we did not have, and it probably was not a good job on the part of all parties, was to communicate that you could get to the fountain area and around the casino and whatnot,” said Charles Burns, the general manager of the races. “So we’re going to try to make it as unobtrusive as possible in the park.
“That construction by turn 1 really threw a snag for everybody. But, this year, I think they’ll see a little different activity out there.”