New race views, other enhancements on deck for 2018 Detroit Grand Prix

Races held June 1-3 on Belle Isle

Drivers pull out of the pit for their warm-up laps at the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix auto race on Belle Isle in Detroit on June 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT - Work officially begins Monday on Belle Isle in preparation for this year's Detroit Grand Prix, and fans can expect a few key changes to this year's race.

Arguably the biggest change coming to the race is that there will be less time spent at Belle Isle Park. 

The Grand Prix has reduced its total time spent on the island by 27 days since 2015. This is a response to attendees who requested less time for the build out and removal of the race venue infrastructure. Work on the island does not normally begin this early, but is starting early this year to accommodate to the time reduction on the island.

Another new feature is the Grand Prix will build its race track barriers and fencing on the inside of the course first. Typically, both sides of the track would be built at one time, but this new process allows unobstructed views of the Detroit River waterfront for as long as possible leading up to the weekend. 

Regular ingress and egress on the island through Memorial Day will also be featured so holiday traffic issues are not as prominent as in years past.

The Grand Prix will also have new viewing spots on race weekend. Grandstand 3, located at the end of Turn 3 on the right side of the track, will be moved to the left side to create a better view for spectators to see the race. The size of the backstretch viewing area will be doubled this year. Two new viewing platforms will also be added near Turn 2 and Turn 3.

The Belle Isle Club is also expanding to the ground floor of the Belle Isle Casino, which will give attendees access to the indoors. 

Finally, the Autotrader Winners Circle is moving from its location near the Belle Isle Casino to the James Scott Memorial Fountain, which will provide a "memorable backdrop" for winners of the race, their teams and fans to celebrate, a press release says. All attendees that have passes to the Fifth Third Bank Paddock are able to access the Scott Fountain area throughout the entire weekend.

Tickets for the Grand Prix are on sale now. For ticket information, visit DetroitGP.com or call 866-464-7749.

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