IndyCar racing will once again rev up Detroit’s Belle Isle with the announcement that Chevrolet has inked a multi-year agreement with the Penske Corporation and INDYCAR to bring professional motorsports back to the Motor City.
For the first time in four years, the popular racing series will make its way back to the city under the title of the first Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 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 IndyCar 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 — so the roar of engines is something that simply belongs here.”
Detroit’s 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.”
IndyCar racing has developed a global audience. The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, which concluded Oct. 16, included 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. According to 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 into 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.”
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