Bellwether Racing At Belle Isle

Header-image-Shalapata-2By Ian Shalapata

(WINDSOR, ON) – IndyCar and the Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix returns to Detroit with two weekend races. The Dual in Detroit promises roaring car, family fun, and headline music over the three days.

The Raceway at Belle Isle street course will feature two IndyCar points races covering 164.5 miles over 70 laps. Both of last year’s winners, Will Power and Helio Castroneves will be looking to defend their wins and build on their current rankings.

Belle Isle is a bellwether race as past winners in Detroit have gone on to win the overall IndyCar Championship four times. Power won Race 2 last year, Alex Zanardi won on Belle Isle in 1998, Bobby Rahal won at Belle Isle in 1992, and Emerson Fittipaldi won in downtown Detroit in 1989.

Detroit is also the seventh stop this season on the IndyCar circuit. Since 1995, seven times drivers who won the seventh race also won the Championship.

Castroneves has won three times at Belle Isle, the most by an Indy car driver at the track. Prior to 2014, he won his first Indy car race at the track in 2000 and then again in 2001. Castroneves has also appeared at Belle Isle more times than any other driver, with 11 previous starts.

Also holding a hot hand is Juan Pablo Montoya, twice a winner this year. The Colombian won the first race of the year at St Petersburg and then again last Sunday, taking the checkered flag at the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500.

In related news, Canadian James Hinchcliffe will not be participating at Belle Isle. He suffered a severe injury when his car made contact with the wall at the Brickyard and careened down the tarmac during practice. Hinchcliffe spent the week in hospital and was released today, however is not cleared to race by IndyCar medical staff. Conor Daly will fill in for Hinchcliffe in the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda this weekend.

“I’m honoured to have the opportunity to fill in for my close friend James (Hinchcliffe) this weekend,” said Daly. “I definitely want to thank Arrow Electronics, Lucas Oil and all the team sponsors for giving me this shot. I can’t wait to continue working with the Schmidt Peterson guys and do the best job I can to keep James’ seat warm.”

Practice and qualifying for the first race will take place on Friday with the green flag dropping for Race 1 at 3:50 pm Saturday. The following day is jammed packed as drivers and crews prepare to qualify at 11:25 am then proceed to race at 3:50 pm.

The Square will be bringing you reports from Belle Isle for all the race activities throughout the weekend.


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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata