• Sep 29, 2006
The Detroit Grand Prix appears to be returning to the schedule thanks to Roger Penske. Penske is going to be holding a press conference today along with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. AutoWeek is reporting that the race will return to Belle Isle, which last hosted a race in 2001. That was a CART race. This will be an IRL race. Plus ALMS. By including ALMS, there will be more corporate sponsorship opportunities for the race and hopefully more funding available to make it work.
Detroit first had a Grand Prix in 1982. That was a Formula 1 race that continued until 1988 when CART took over. Belle Isle replaced that original Renaissance Center street course in 1992, but slipped off the schedule in 2001. Belle Isle itself is a park complex that has fallen into a certain state of disrepair and it is hoped the new interest will allow the park to be refurbished to not only better accommodate the racers, but to service Detroit residents better.

Although a City Council vote scheduled for tomorrow still stands in the way of final approval, several local authorities will be on hand for the news conference today, lending credence to the notion that the race will get the go-ahead. Penske had been instrumental in securing the Super Bowl for Detroit in the past, but knows that an annual event that keeps people coming back year after year is vital to the ongoing success of an urban renewal project.

[Source: AutoWeek]





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      It is not a gran prix unless it's F1.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I have fond memories of watching the Grand Prix from a rooftop in downtown Detroit, as a child. I'm really happy to hear that the race is coming back to Detroit, as the city certainly needs more events like this to bring visitors in. Maybe sometime when I'm back visiting Michigan, I'll check out one of the Belle Isle races...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Left to his own devices, Kwame would screw this up royally. But, with Penske running the show, it'll be a top-notch affair. It'll be good to have some open-wheel road racing back in Detroit again.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bullet-proof vests aren't required on Belle Isle during daylight hours. Only after dark does it turn into a violence and drug-riddled urban jungle. I actually met Paul Newman about 8 years ago there. I live across the river from Belle Isle and I was fortunate enough to get 4 tickets for the Detroit Indy. I didn't even realize it was him for a while, he was on a scooter with grey checkered pants and white sneakers with a fishing hat and huge sunglasses, like out of a Caddyshack movie. We stood by a fence on a curve talking about the race for about 10 minutes. Jeez, I remember thinking even then how old he looked.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Penske has done more good for the city of Detroit in the past few years the that ass Kilpatrick will ever think of. Penske is the reason that the Super Bowl was a huge success so I beleive he can make this a success.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is CART dead yet...?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chuck the IRL crap and just make it ALMS, otherwise, no way in hell I'm going.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Will the racers be given bullet proof vests along with their fire suits for the Detroit race?

      Does anyone know how much they paid Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for his support? It is not like he does things to support Detroit without getting something personal in return.