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Last updated on Friday, December 19, 2008
(DETROIT, MI) - The 2009 running of the IndyCar Series’ Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has been cancelled due to the troubled economy.
Car owner Roger Penske, who is also the organizer of the Detroit race, labeled Thursday's decision a "postponement".
Penske tells The Indianapolis Star that concerns surrounding sponsorship and the Detroit economy went into the decision. Event chairman Bud Denker told The Detroit Free Press that the decision came following discussions with the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, sponsors and the Indy Racing League.
Denker said that the grand prix is supported by the big three auto makers as well as foreign car builders Porsche and Audi. He says the recent struggles of the auto industry contributed to the decision to pull the plug on the 2009 event.
The race was scheduled to be run on Labor Day weekend and two support events - the American Lemans Series and the SCCA Speed World Challenge - were also cancelled.
Belle Isle made its debut on the IndyCar Series schedule in 2007 after being a fixture on the old cart and Champ Car World Series schedules.
The loss of the Detroit race leaves the IndyCar Series with 17 scheduled races for 2009.
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