Detroit Belle Isle race weekend to welcome back Trans Am Series for first time since 2001

(Photo courtesy Trans Am Series)

To celebrate its 50th year of competition, the Trans Am Series is giving itself a big present in 2016: it’s returning to race in Detroit and at Belle Isle for the first time in 15 years.

The Trans Am Series will be part of this year’s Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix, June 3-5. The series will host two invitational races – the Motor City 100 – on June 4 and June 5 on the 2.3-mile Raceway at the Belle Isle Park street circuit.

“Everyone in the Trans Am Series is ecstatic to return to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” Trans Am Series President John Clagett said in a media release. “We’re excited to reintroduce the modern Trans Am Series to fans in the Motor City 100 and continue the legacy of great Trans Am races in Detroit.”

Trans Am began racing at the Detroit Grand Prix, starting when the race was contested on Detroit city streets in 1984 until 1993, before the Grand Prix moved to its current venue on Belle Isle from 1994-2001. During its prior tenure in Detroit, the Trans Am Series contested a number of exciting races with drivers including Wally Dallenbach Jr., Scott Pruett, Dorsey Schroeder, Scott Sharp, Ron Fellows and Tommy Kendall.

“We’re excited to bring back some history, some heritage and even more on-track excitement with the return of the Trans Am Series to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix chairman Bud Denker said. “Our racing fans will be thrilled to see the competition between Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, BMW, Aston Martin and more in the Trans Am field all weekend long and we’re honored to bring back the tradition of the Trans Am Motor City 100.”

The return of the Trans Am Series further expands a big weekend of racing in Motor City that will feature eight different races in three days. The main event will be the Verizon IndyCar Series and its doubleheader weekend of two races, the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.

In addition, IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will run on June 4 in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, while the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks will compete on all three days at the Grand Prix.

The Trans Am Series has five different classes that will be in action on Belle Isle: the premier GT cars in the TA class, as well as undercard classes TA2, TA3, TA4 and TA5.

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IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change