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.
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.