While Belle Isle has become more of a hangout spot, the road surface around the scenic location was originally intended to be used as a road course and on June 1st through the 3rd in 2012, Belle Isle will once again host a major racing event as the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix takes to the 2.1 mile road course. General Motors is teaming up with Penske Corporation and the INDYCAR circuit to bring open wheel racing to the Motor City for the first time in four years.
“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.”
The IZOD IndyCar series has stops in the US, Canada, Brazil and Japan with an estimated television audience of 191 million people in over 200 countries around the world. The 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will actually host four races, three of which will feature General Motors race vehicles. First, the main event of the weekend is the Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix which will feature Chevrolet’s new twin-turbo V-6 race engines as GM returns to IndyCar racing. Next, the Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge will give racing fans the chance to check out the Chevrolet Daytona Prototypes and Camaros in the first ever GRAND-AM Rolex Series race held at Belle Isle. The final event featuring GM vehicles is the Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle, with a field of Cadillac CTS-Vs competing in the second Pirelli World Challenge series race held at Belle Isle.
The last time that the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was run was in 2008 and according to General Motors, the 2007 and 2008 Belle Isle Grand Prix events attracted more than 200,000 visitors to the Metro Detroit area while generating a whopping $100 million in local revenue. This race provides a great chance for the Motor City to show off the growth over the past few years while helping to support the local economy and the automakers who make up a major part of the local 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 those of you who haven’t been to Belle Isle, it really is a very cool area and a great place to take a cruise on a sanctioned race course turned public roadway. For more information on the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, click here!