Detroit GP cancelled as IndyCar calendar shake-up announced

David Malsher-Lopez
Autosport
Detroit GP cancelled as calendar shake-up announced
Detroit GP cancelled as calendar shake-up announced

IndyCar has cancelled the Detroit Grand Prix, while turning some existing events into double-headers and adding an October race at the Indianapolis road course as part of a revised calendar.

IndyCar announced on Monday that the Detroit GP - which had become the new 2020 season-opening event following the shift of the GP of Indy to July and the Indy 500 to August - has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from IndyCar read: "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 added: "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 revitalising 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."

Ticketholders for the Detroit race will be contacted in the near future regarding their purchases.

The 2021 Detroit GP is set for June 4-6, 2021.

Detroit GP cancelled as calendar shake-up announced
Detroit GP cancelled as calendar shake-up announced

Despite the loss of these two races - along with Barber Motorsports Park, Long Beach and Circuit of The Americas rounds - there remains 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 October 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 favourite 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 prioritising 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 runs at 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."

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