Detroit race still lacking sponsorship

Updated: July 31, 2009, 12:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

DETROIT -- There's no Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix this year, and organizers say the troubled economy means the race is off again in 2010. They say the event could resume in 2011 if conditions improve.

"This continues to be a challenging time to secure sponsorship to produce a world-class sporting event," race chairman Bud Denker said Friday.

In addition, Richmond International Raceway announced it would not serve as host to an IndyCar race in 2010.

The 2009 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix race had been set for Sept. 4-6. It included an IndyCar race, as well as American Le Mans Series and SCCA Speed World Challenge races.

The Detroit race series on Belle Isle started in 2007 after a six-year hiatus. Earlier auto races took place on streets around the Renaissance Center before shifting to the island park in the Detroit River, about two miles east of downtown.

The head of Richmond International cited the economy and lukewarm fan feedback as reasons for withdrawing as host of a 2010 race.

"The IndyCar Series is a high-quality racing series and we have enjoyed hosting them at Richmond International Raceway," raceway president Doug Fritz said. "The series puts on good shows all over the world, but here at Richmond we just didn't have the racing that our fans have come to expect. Nonetheless, the IndyCar Series continues to run entertaining events at other venues and we wish them all the best for the future."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE