‘Road Work’ signs stop IndyCars in Detroit

Crews work on the track in Detroit

‘Slow Road Work Ahead’ is something that people see all the time on the road, but not the race track.

That is the issue right now at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with the race on hold after 45 of 90 laps to make repairs to sections of the 3.31km street course.

At the time of the red flag Scott Dixon was leading Will Power and Simon Pagenaud.

Multiple sections of the course had become loose with the first full-course yellow flag of the race coming on Lap #40 after James Hinchcliffe’s GoDaddy.com car struck a slice of asphalt that send him into the barriers in Turn 7. Almost simultaneously, the Letterman Lanigan Racing car of Takuma Sato slid into the Turn 12 wall.

The red flag was displayed 68 minutes into the race as IndyCar Race Director Beaux Barfield called the cars onto pit lane. Drivers were allowed to get out of the cockpit, but no work on the cars was allowed. It’s the first weekend of racing on Belle Isle since 2008.

“We actually sucked the track up there’s so much grip,” reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti said.

“It’s too bad for the fans and drivers, but it’s safety first.”

The race is expected to be completed today, although running it will run only to lap #60 of 100 due to the track holding-up and also the impending darkness.

The last red flag in an IZOD IndyCar Series race was August at New Hampshire because of rain. The last non-weather-related red flag was at Chicagoland Speedway in 2005 (accident). The other time a red flag was shown was the tragic race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October when Dan Wheldon was killed in a multi-car accident. As that race was less than 20 laps in and was not re-started it was considered a non-event.

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