The green flag has waved on the assembly of the 2.1-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit with tons of materials and hundreds of workers to set to arrive on the island over the next eight weeks as Detroit readies itself for the “fastest weekend of the summer."
Crowds in excess of 100,000 are expected to visit the island over the first weekend in June with world-class auto racing and family fun once again putting a charge into the Motor City for the first time in four years. But before the cars and stars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, the Pirelli World Challenge Series and the Firestone Indy Lights Series roar to life on Belle Isle, first comes all the hard work to transform the island.
“It is quite an experience to watch a vibrant island park like Belle Isle turn into a first-class racing venue right before our eyes," said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Fortunately we have an experienced construction team to rely on and they are already hard at work. Race weekend will be here before you know it but in the meantime, we invite everyone to come down and see all the activity going on at Belle Isle. The island will literally be changing every day as we prepare for the return of the Grand Prix to the Motor City."
Following the initial barrier and grandstand delivery, the installation of the elevated flooring for the luxurious hospitality chalets at the Grand Prix will commence and continue through the second week of May. More than 50,000 feet of temporary fencing will arrive on the island in mid May and will be put in place around the race venue. The Raceway at Belle Isle Park will also feature approximately 27 miles of safety cabling and over 12,000 tires will be delivered to make up the temporary barrier walls used on track race weekend. In the closing stages of construction the dozens of tents, trailers and numerous displays and activity areas will be built on site, setting the stage for an action-packed weekend. The final pieces will be put in place during the last week of May when the race competitors arrive on the island with more than 200 massive race transporters, motorcoaches and hospitality units.