Detroit event under threat

The Detroit round of the CART Championship Series is under threat, according to reports in The Detroit News

Detroit event under threat

The race has been held on a temporary street course in Belle Isle Park since 1992, but the contract is up for renewal in 2001 and CART boss Andrew Craig has said that a new venue will have to be found if the city is to keep its race.

'We've tried a number of things and the city has been terrific in terms of track extensions, but it just doesn't meet the standards that race fans and teams expect in 2000 and beyond,' said Craig.

'It's nothing against the city of Detroit. The fact is we've been racing there nine years and we've outgrown it.'

The Belle Isle track has been consistently criticised for offering very few passing opportunities, as well as its poor track surface and basic grass paddock.

Craig insisted that he wanted to keep CART in the city, but that the series needed a more modern venue.

'Having a Detroit race is important,' he said. 'We'll look at any sensible alternative.'

There are two alternative plans: a return to the downtown city street layout that hosted the US Grand Prix from 1982 to 1988 and then three CART events, or a brand new event on a 1-mile oval to be constructed in the state fairgrounds. The latter project has the backing of American legend Mario Andretti.

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