Open-wheel racing is returning to the Motor City next summer. The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be held June 1-3, the first of a three-year sponsorship deal between General Motors, Penske Corporation and the IndyCar series. The weekend of racing will feature not only an IndyCar race, but the first Grand-Am event ever held on Detroit's island course.

The new Detroit race will take the place of another IndyCar event on the schedule, though officials did not say which one. IndyCar officials expect starting grids to have 25-28 cars next season. Other support races for the Detroit weekend include a Cadillac V-Series Challenge and an Indy Light race.

Race organizers said they plan to spend $6 million to rehab the racing facility, which last saw action in 2008. Detroit has a long and tumultuous history of hosting open wheel racing events on city streets, dating back to 1982, when Formula 1 ran on a course through downtown. In 1992 the Detroit Grand Prix moved to the current location at Belle Isle, a public park in the Detroit River, where several races under different sanctioning bodies have been held intermittently over the years. Follow the jump for GM's official release.
Show full PR text
Grand Prix Racing Returns to Detroit

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix to be held in June 2012


DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced a multi-year agreement with the Penske Corporation and INDYCAR to bring professional motorsports to the Motor City for the first time in four years. The first Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be held June 1-3, 2012 at the picturesque 2.1-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course.

"Chevrolet has a long, storied history in Indy car racing," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. "This year we celebrated the shared centennial of Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500. We're excited to see that history continue with the help of Penske Corporation and INDYCAR bringing back open-wheel racing to Detroit in 2012. This city is a natural for racing – it put the world on wheels and the roar of engines is something that simply belongs here."

Detroit's historic Belle Isle Park will host four races during the three-day event, including:

The Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by shopautoweek.com, where Chevrolet's new twin-turbo V-6 race engines will compete in the IZOD IndyCar Series
The Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge where Chevrolet Daytona Prototypes and Camaros will compete in the first GRAND-AM Rolex Series race held on Belle Isle
The Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, where Cadillac CTS-Vs will compete in the second Pirelli World Challenge series race held on Belle Isle

The Firestone Indy Light Series race, featuring the rising stars of open-wheel racing

"Chevrolet has been instrumental in bringing motorsports back to Detroit," said Penske Corp. Chairman Roger Penske. "The Grand Prix will draw international attention and visitors to Belle Isle – which is one of the most-scenic race venues in the United States. We believe the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be one of the most-popular races in the IZOD IndyCar Series and will play a major role in continuing the renaissance of Detroit."

Indy car racing has developed a global audience. The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, which concludes Oct. 16, includes 17 events in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Japan, reaching an estimated television audience of 191 million people in 200 countries.

The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was last held in 2007 and 2008. Based on estimates from the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, those two events combined attracted more than 200,000 visitors, and brought more than $100 million to the Detroit Metro economy.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring the Detroit Grand Prix back to Belle Isle," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "Thanks to the support of INDYCAR, Penske Corporation and Chevrolet, we will once again host one of the world's most prestigious motorsports events."

For more information and to sign up for tickets to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, please visit www.detroitgp.com. Learn more about the event through social media by visiting www.twitter.com/detroitgp and www.facebook.com/detroitgp.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      The Other Bob
      • 3 Years Ago
      My Dad used to take me to the race every year. It was awesome when it was downtown, albeit not real practical. I still remember the sound of the cars and every shift echoing through the buildings. It was awesome.
        Tone
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Other Bob
        Right there with you Bob. I remember going to the races down town when I was 8-9 years old. The sound is still stuck in my head...
      James Scott
      • 3 Years Ago
      This track needs to be in Forza 4.
      Robb63
      • 3 Years Ago
      My buddy and I ride our motorcycles around what's left of the track early Sunday mornings. No traffic at all and a few good twisties with FIA kurbing!! You've got to watch out for horse poop every now and then from the mounted cops, but other than that it's a blast. Nice of them to build a new course for me. I'll just stay away the week before and after the race until it goes back to being a ghost island out there again.
      peakarach1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sound great to me.
      Jae Kitchen
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't wait. It will be epic to see true racing so close to home.
      magicstickvi
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great. I just moved from Baltimore/DC to the Detroit metro area. It's as if they are following me around! I can't complain though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      cliff
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's right GM. Bring it all back home where it belongs....Detroit, there is hope! At least htere is one company with a bright outlook on the future. Hope it will last.
      • 3 Years Ago
      How much of a zoo is Belle Isle when these things happen? I have to imagine that bridge gets FULL of traffic/people
        Robb63
        • 3 Years Ago
        They usually close the island to most traffic, and you take shuttles across the bridge. It was never as bad as I thought it would be to get on and off Belle Isle.
    • Load More Comments