IndyCar confirmed today the return of the Belle Isle Grand Prix in Detroit, in partnership with the Penske Corporation and Chevrolet, which will become the title sponsor of the IZOD IndyCar Series event.
Chevrolet has signed a multi-year agreement with the Penske Corp. and IndyCar to bring professional motorsports back 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 – the weekend following the Indianapolis 500 – on the 2.1-mile road course that utilizes roads of the Belle Isle Park. The weekend will feature IndyCars as well as the Firestone Indy Lights Championship and Grand-Am's Rolex Series.
"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."
"Chevrolet has been instrumental in bringing motorsports back to Detroit," added Roger Penske. "The [IndyCar] 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 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.
“Chevrolet has a long, storied history in IndyCar racing,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America, whose company will field V6 turbo engines in next year's IndyCar Series. “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."