News for the Week of August 6 – August 12, 2018

Detroit GP reaches agreement to continue on Belle Isle for three years – “The Detroit Grand Prix and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) have reached an agreement for the annual motorsports festival to continue on Belle Isle for at least three more years. Under the terms of the agreement, the Grand Prix will return to its home on Belle Isle for three more years beginning in 2019, with an option for extending the agreement two additional years through 2023. The previous agreement to host the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle concluded with the 2018 race. Grand Prix officials listened to public feedback on the future of the race over the past year, consulted with stakeholders and made the decision to submit a proposal to the MDNR on July 13 to continue the event on the island. The MDNR, which manages the operation of Belle Isle Park, responded to the proposal with suggested changes on July 20. The Grand Prix adjusted its proposal and today reached an agreement to secure the future of the event.” Full release at the link. – Detroit GP – (8/10/2018)

Gateway orders up $1M in paving before INDYCAR event – From Gateway Motorsports Park: “Gateway Motorsports Park’s 1.25-mile oval’s pit road receives fresh pavement in preparation for the August 24-25 INDYCAR Weekend, featuring the August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline for the Verizon IndyCar Series. Paving includes the entrance road to pit road (a.k.a. “pit in” in industry jargon) and the exit road from pit road (a.k.a. “pit out”). Paving on the GMP property also will include wider and longer access roads to and from the parking lots to better accommodate traffic flow. The entire project is estimated at $1 million.” Pictures at the link. – John Bisci – (8/10/2018)

Stewart still interest in Indy 500 drive if he can win – NBC Sports’ Nate Ryan reports Tony Stewart is still very much interested in driving in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race if the right opportunity comes along for him to give himself a chance to win. “If I go, I’m not going just to run it,” Stewart told NBC Sports. “I don’t want to be a sideshow like Danica (Patrick) was at Indy this year. If I go, I want to go feeling like I’ve got the same opportunity to win that everyone else in the field does. Full story at the link. – NBC Sports – (8/10/2018)

Pruett’s silly season update 8/8/18 – RACER’s Marshall Pruett has posted an excellent update on some silly season rumors for 2019. Check it out at the link. – RACER – (8/9/2018)

Miller’s Mailbag 8/8/18 – RACER’s Robin Miller’s weekly fan Q&A is a great read as always. – RACER – (8/8/2018)

Trackside podcast 8/7/18 – 1070 The Fan’s Trackside with Curt Cavin and Kevin Lee radio show from 8/7/18 is a great listen as always. Bill Pappas and Katherine Legge are guests on the show. – 1070 The Fan – (8/8/2018)

McLaren still looking at more than just Andretti as IndyCar partner – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello reports McLaren is still looking at more than just Andretti Autosport to partner with as it explores the possibility of joining the IndyCar Series in 2019. Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/6/2018)

Indy 500 voted “Best Motorsports Race” – “The readers of America’s most widely circulated newspaper have spoken: The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest auto race in the world. The Indianapolis 500 was named the Best Motorsports Race in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest conducted this summer at” Full release at the link. – IMS – (8/3/2018)

Juncos Racing names Celis Jr. as driver for Portland – “Juncos Racing announced today Alfonso Celis Jr. will return to the Verizon IndyCar Series later this month at Portland International Raceway. Mexican native Alfonso Celis Jr. made his official Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the No. 32 Chevrolet / Juncos Racing car this past June on the 4.014 mile, 14-Turn road course located at Road America. Despite finishing 20th, the 21-year-old made an strong impression on the team. Celis Jr. first joined Juncos Racing earlier this year in the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires before moving up to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Celis Jr. will make his second start in the Verizon IndyCar Series around the 1.964 mile, 12-Turn road course located in Portland, Oregon.” Full release at the link. – Juncos Racing – (8/3/2018)

Belardi hoping for more IndyCar races in ’19 – The Indianapolis Star’s Jim Ayello has published a nice story after an interview with Belardi Auto Racing owner Brian Belardi. Belardi says the team would like to race in more than just the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race in the IndyCar Series next year and is considering expanding its Indy Lights efforts as well. “This year, I went in there with my eyes wide open, just observing,” Belardi told the Indianapolis Star. “I really didn’t give a lot of input until I got acclimated with program, just because it was my first time. But I’m a quick learner. … For next year, I’m up to speed 100 percent.” Full story at the link. – Indianapolis Star – (8/3/2018)

INDYCAR announces five-year plan to strengthen Indy Lights – “The future of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires has been strengthened by a five-year plan released today by INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions. The objective of the plan shown to current and prospective entrants is to increase team and driver participation in the top level of the INDYCAR-sanctioned Mazda Road to Indy development ladder, identify cost efficiencies for competitors and establish guidelines for advancing to the Verizon IndyCar Series.” Full release at the link. – Indy Lights – (8/1/2018)

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