Detroit’s Belle Isle Park will host the IndyCar Chevrolet Grand Prix on Sunday for the 30th and final time. As usual, the 2.35-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit has sprung some surprises.
Friday’s first open practice saw Kyle Kirkwood put his Chevy-powered A.J. Foyt Enterprises racing car atop the timing sheets. In Saturday’s open practice, Alexander Rossi — the man Kirkwood will be replacing at Andretti Autosport in 2023 — topped the charts.
Later, in Saturday’s qualifying session, Helio Castroneves was quickest in the first group of cars to go out and perhaps envisioned climbing the fence at the finish one more time, as Belle Isle is the first race the Brazilian started his victory tradition. David Malukas was at the front of the field in the second group, followed by Rossi.
Malukas continued to flash speed was second behind Pato O’Ward in Round 2 of qualifying, which saw notables such as Rossi, Colton Herta, newly minted Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean fall out.
Then came the Firestone Fast Six pole shootout, and it was Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden who took the pole with Takuma Sato just 0.1337 seconds behind him, followed by Meyer Shank Racing teammates Simon Pagenaud and Castroneves.
How to watch the IndyCar Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, June 5
Location: Belle Isle Park, Detroit, Mich.
Time: 3 p.m. ET
TV: USA Network
Stream: fuboTV (get access now)
IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix starting lineup
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, Chevrolet
Takuma Sato, Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda
Helio Castroneves, Meyer Shank Racing, Honda
Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet
David Malukas, Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport, Honda
Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske, Chevrolet
Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport, Honda
Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport, Honda
Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
Rinus VeeKay, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
Kyle Kirkwood, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
Will Power, Team Penske, Chevrolet
Santino Ferrucci, Juncos Hollinger Racing, Chevrolet
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda
Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda
Devlin DeFrancesco, Andretti Autosport, Honda
Jimmie Johnson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, Honda
Tatiana Calderon, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
Dalton Kellett, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet
What to watch
The 982-acre island situated in the Detroit River is a very technical course with hard braking zones and speedy straights that usually end up catching out even the best of drivers at some point over 70 laps. Depending on how much patching and repair work has been done since the twin races last season, Belle Isle is a tricky course because of the changes in asphalt and the patchwork repairs done to it. Some areas have good grip consistency while others have less, but they do have one thing in common: They are fairly abrasive, and tire wear and management is a concern.