Last weekend's Indianapolis 500 was indeed the most prominent race of the 2014 IndyCar series so far, with driver Ryan Hunter-Reay winning in what was an incredibly close fight to the very last lap. But the Indy 500 doesn't mark the end of the IndyCar season, and this weekend, the series heads to Detroit for the Belle Isle Grand Prix – an event that brought open-wheel racing back to The D in 2012 (to admittedly terrible results).
The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix – an event that first returned to the Motor City last year, to somewhat embarrassing results – kicks off today, with the big race events happening Saturday and Sunday. But before any of Chevy's Bowtie-badged race cars hit the track, we were able to get our first in-person look at the refreshed 2014 Malibu – a vehicle getting a host of upgrades after just one model year.
Unless you find yourself a native of Detroit or the city's surrounding precincts, you may have an image of the metropolis as a hive of decay. We can hardly blame you. The media and visitors alike love nothing more than to feast their lenses on the area's decaying underbelly, but it's far from all bad – there are many pockets of the Motor City that are undergoing bona-fide revivals. Detroit was built on the back of the automobile, so it's ironic that the automobile arguably sparked the city
What else could Roger Penske say? As the promoter and most public face of the Detroit Grand Prix, what else could the man do besides promise that the miserable track surface will be fixed before next year's race? Oh yeah, he could have made sure that the Belle Isle circuit was properly prepared for last weekend's event, which most certainly did not happen.
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 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.