Construction teams have been busy recently on the Detroit island with a major project around the oft-maligned street circuit. After last year's race there was shortened considerably due to a disintegrating track surface, a fully repaired (and mostly repaved) Belle Isle will await the IZOD IndyCar Series when it returns for its first 2013 doubleheader weekend next June.
Not to mention a longer Belle Isle, as well. Yesterday, it was announced that the Belle Isle course will extend one quarter-mile into Turn 3, pushing the total length to 2.346 miles and potentially adding a passing zone as well. If this sounds familiar at all, it should -- this is the same configuration that was used by CART from 1997-2001.
An Associated Press report quotes Denker, the Detroit GP's event chairman, as saying that the current project will be completed in three weeks. The story also features positive comments from Chevrolet-powered drivers who visited Belle Isle yesterday to see the work being done.
The 2013 "Dual in Detroit" will feature 70-lap races on both Saturday and Sunday for the IndyCars.
Helio and Chelsie done on DWTS: All-Stars
Helio Castroneves won't be adding a second Dancing With The Stars championship to his resume.
Castroneves, who won Season 5 of DWTS, and his professional partner Chelsie Hightower netted a strong score of 25.5 (out of 30) for their Quickstep on Monday night, but were unable to receive enough fan votes to move further into the 'All-Stars' competition on Tuesday night's results show.
Former boy-band singer Drew Lachey (a champion in Season 2 of DWTS) and his partner Anna Trebunskaya were also eliminated on Tuesday.
IndyCars in Italy?
The Ferrari-owned Mugello Circuit, long known for its role as a Formula One testing site, has entered the fray as a candidate for a possible 20th race in 2013. SPEEDTV.com's Robin Miller is reporting that series CEO Randy Bernard has had, in his words, "initial, exploratory discussions" with the Italian facility, as well as other potential sites.
This comes despite Bernard recently saying that he thought adding a 20th race in 2013 wasn't in the series' best interest. Next year's schedule currently sports a major gap between the Baltimore Grand Prix on Sept. 1 and the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston doubleheader on Oct. 5 and 6.
But considering how IndyCar used to travel to the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, it wouldn't be too surprising if he chose to bring his series to the homeland of another major series partner -- in this case, the homeland of chassis constructor Dallara.
Another possible reason: Miller also cites in his report Bernard's past talks with Ferrari's parent company, Fiat, which has been rumored in the past to be interested in building an IndyCar engine. With Lotus contemplating an early exit from the series, one can jump to the assumption that Bernard's searching for another brand to be his series' third motor alongside Chevrolet and Honda...