DETROIT - JUNE 03: Dario Franchitti of Scotland in his #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara DW12 leads a pack of cars during the IZOD INDYCAR Series Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Belle Isle on June 3, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
The Belle Isle race course was falling apart during the 2012 Belle Isle Grand Prix. As a result, the track is undergoing significant repairs for 2013.
In June, many race fans were literally showered with debris as the Belle Isle race course was torn apart by the cars. The Belle Isle Grand Prix had to be stopped for about two hours while the course underwent emergency repairs, but the race was able to be restarted as Scott Dixon eventually captured the checkered flag. Race organizers are hoping there will be no such issues in 2013, as they've started making permanent repairs to the course.
On Monday, construction workers began repairs that will take the next eight to 12 weeks to complete, and they are focusing on replacing nearly 82,000 square feet of pavement that caused the problems this past June. The rest of the track will undergo repairs over the course of the next three years, and there is a planned addition, which will extend the course from 2.1 miles to 2.4 miles.
Penske was quick to point out that these repairs are not taxpayer-funded, but that the costs are being absorbed by Penske and other private donors. The total cost of the repairs is expected to exceed $1 million.