Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit will undergo a layout change ahead of next year’s double-header event in a bid to improve overtaking opportunities.
The street circuit will be the first of three venues on next year’s championship calendar to host a double-header event, meaning fans will get to see two full-length races over the June 1-2 schedule.
Additionally, event organisers have opted to revert to the circuit layout used when the venue hosted the CART Series between 1997-2001, which will – using the 2012 layout as a guide – see the drivers continue along a loop at Turn 3 and rejoining at Turn 6.
The extension will increase the total lap distance by a quarter of a mile to 2.346 miles (3.777km, for those of you who are metrically-inclined), and it is hoped that the changes will earn plenty of praise from drivers and fans alike.
The 2012 race – which marked Detroit’s return to hosting the IndyCar Series – was also marred by a severe track break-up that saw the race suspended for two hours while hasty patch repairs were performed.
To avoid a repeat, officials have also committed to re-laying several section of the circuit, amounting to over 80,000 square feet of concrete and a further 3,000 square feet of asphalt.