To some, this is no surprise. Belle Island is know for shutting down different Grand Prix races that have ran on their turf. From Formula 1, CART, and now IndyCar, each has met an opposition from residents. This race has occurred in Detroit since 2012, and periodically since 1992. Now it seems that locals are worried about the race's impact on the environment and the affect it may have on the park.
Back in September, The Michigan Department of Natural Resources held a public meeting at Belle Island Nature Center to discuss the future of the race. Dozens of residents attended in both support and opposition. Some even called for a third-party environmental impact study to be conducted to determine the affect of the race on the island.
Historically, racing hasn't had a solid foothold on Belle Island. In Formula 1, the race was supposed to be moved from downtown to Belle Island in 1989. The race in downtown Detroit for F1 was slow, even slower than Monaco. It included rough, pothole infested roads. It even had a railroad crossing and a tunnel on the main straight. In 1988, the condition of the setup was nut up-to-par, so it had to be moved. The plan was for Belle Island, and that got shut down by local (public and political) opposition almost immediately. These public groups fought for the conversation of the park, which was enough to stop the race from being moved in 1989.
In the CART series, the race was moved to Belle Island on a temporary track in 1992. This race occurred on-and-off until 2001 with the occasional opposition from Belle Island. The pit areas became very muddy and sometimes unable to accompany the teams.
Now it seems IndyCar may have reached it's end in Detroit. This comes after Graham Rahal's impressive back to back victories in the city, both at the road course and the circuit in 2017. The circuit to fans was a fun event to watch, as it had evolved over the years. The track had become longer and faster, so it was definitely more interesting for fans and drivers, alike.
Detroit is an important part of American and automotive history. It would be a shame to see it go. What do you think? Let us know.
to accompany the teams. Due to this, the race