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INDYCAR, GRAND-AM To Race In Detroit

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, October 12 2011

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The IZOD IndyCar Series announced Wednesday that it will return to Detroit next season 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.

· The Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge for the  GRAND-AM Rolex Series.

· The Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle in the Piirelli 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.”

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.”

Following Wednesday’s announcement regarding the return of the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón President and CEO Scott Atherton shared plans for the Series to be part of the 2013 edition of the race. A scheduling conflict between the 2012 race and the test day for next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans will prevent North America’s premier sports car championship from placing Detroit into its June TBD date.

“While we enjoyed being a very successful part of the renaissance of this great race on Belle Isle in 2007 and again in 2008, the2012 Detroit race and the Le Mans test day next year share the same date on the calendar, creating a direct conflict which could not be resolved for 2012,” Atherton said.

“In 2013 however, we foresee a resolution of the date conflict with the Le Mans test day, enabling the ALMS to compete in the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. While our participation in this classic Motor City race is not possible in 2012, we will continue to work hard with everyone involved to take part in 2013.”

The 2012 ALMS championship will begin with the 60th anniversary of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 17. Multiple classes of exotic, purpose-built prototypes and the world’s finest production-based GT cars will compete together at North America’s premier road courses and urban street circuits.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Wednesday, October 12 2011
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