Detroit Grand Prix Cancelled

City, event and IndyCar officials have decided to cancel the 2009 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix in Michigan due to the slumping economy.

Grand Prix event chairman Bud Denker confirmed the cancellation to The Detroit Free Press on Thursday after meeting with the City of Detroit, the state, sponsors and the IndyCar Series.

"We've been evaluating for the last couple of months whether to cancel," Denker was quoted in the paper. "The Grand Prix is supported by regional and national sponsors, the Big Three, Audi, Porsche. ... We consulted with the city, state and sponsors. Considering the tough times we're all experiencing, we just couldn't ask the parties to give and give more."

The Labor Day weekend event would have been the third annual event in the Motor City after returning from a six-year absence in 2007.

The IndyCar Series released the following statement from Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, regarding the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix:

"This is unfortunate news but something that Roger Penske and his group have kept us abreast of for some time. The people of Detroit welcomed the IndyCar Series with impressive crowds the past two years and we support the Detroit Grand Prix's efforts for a possible return in 2010.

"The current economic climate is a challenge for all of us, but as we look ahead to 2009 and beyond we remain bullish on the opportunities ahead for the unified IndyCar Series. There is little doubt that the IndyCar Series offers considerable value opportunities for current and potential partners of the series and its teams and tracks.

"Any decision on what we might do with a valuable asset like a Labor Day race weekend either short or long-term will not be decided upon quickly."

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