The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will not restart until late June at the earliest, following confirmation that the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle has been canceled.
Announced on Monday, the May 29-31 event, which was to also feature the NTT IndyCar Series, will not happen this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
While having worked with local authorities, the City of Detroit, Michigan Department of National Resources and the Belle Isle Conservancy in recent weeks, an alternative date was not able to be reached due to “logistical and scheduling challenges” according to a statement from event promoters Penske Corporation.
Sportscar365 understands at least three possible dates were on the table, although two would have been on existing WeatherTech Championship weekends, thus ruling out IMSA’s participation.
“We looked at every possible scenario to reschedule the race, but all of them would have been too disruptive to the hundreds of fall events that will take place on Belle Isle,” said event chairman Bud Denker.
“Some events, like weddings, family reunions and festivals, have been scheduled a year in advance and it would not be right to alter anyone’s plans.
“We look forward to the Grand Prix returning in 2021 as we continue our mission of revitalizing Belle Isle Park and providing significant support to the Belle Isle Conservancy, while helping to inject millions of dollars in economic benefit to our cities and our region.”
The cancelation means the earliest IMSA will return to action will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which is currently scheduled for June 26-28.
It has also resulted in a reduced ten-round season for the WeatherTech Championship, which has elected not to replace the canceled Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
A statement from IMSA on Monday, however, stated that it “continues to work with partners for possible alternative events to run an appropriately adjusted 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.”