IndyCar

IndyCar, Michigan agree on three-year extension for Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle

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IndyCar has taken yet another step towards further solidifying its race seasons for the next few years.

On Friday, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and IndyCar and race organizers announced that they have reached agreement to continue the popular two-day weekend of back-to-back races in late May/early June through 2021.

In addition, there are also two other option years that could extend the agreement through 2023.

In addition, even though Texas Motor Speedway had sought to have the race weekend after the Indianapolis 500 returned to its 1.5-mile oval on the schedule, IndyCar’s agreement with the state of Michigan will keep the Belle Isle races on the weekend after Indy.

There are a few alterations to the former agreement between Michigan and indyCar, per a report by The Associated Press:

  • Preparation and clean-up time, as well as overall access for race organizers and IndyCar to the Belle Isle property will be reduced to just 60 days after previously being 84 days to set up and tear down all remnants of the event, including retaining walls, hospitality tents and the like.
  • The state will see an upward bump in the amount of money it will receive from race organizers, going from the previous $200,000 per year to $325,000, beginning next year.
  • Also, Detroit GP organizers will give $125,000 per year for island improvements.

The GP has been held on Belle Isle, on the edge of Detroit’s downtown area, since 2012.

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IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

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