Final prep underway for the Detroit Grand Prix
The return of the roar of race cars to the streets of downtown Detroit is just over a week away.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Police Chief James White, and other city and race officials revealed the final details of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear during a media event Thursday morning. A press conference took place on Franklin Street near the GM Renaissance Center.
Race chairman Bud Denker said the race is prepared to make a triumphant return to downtown, where it was last run in 1991.
“It’s been 32 years since racing has occurred in our downtown,” said Denker. “Think about this, there are 15 cities in the world that have had this opportunity, and we are one of them. Imagine the sights of watching cars going down at over 185, 190 miles an hour down Jefferson Avenue to the Lodge Freeway, and making a U-turn?”
The race had been run at Belle Isle State Park on and off since 1991. Denker said while Belle Isle provided many amazing moments and beautiful scenes, it was only fitting that the event returned to downtown.
For the first time anywhere in auto racing, the Grand Prix will feature a double pit lane, allowing cars to have pit stops on two sides rather than one single-file line. As a result, race cars will merge from six lanes to a single lane within 150 feet, or 45.7 metres.
White said Detroit police have been working to touch up traffic pattern plans, along with security and crime intelligence to keep visitors and participants safe. White also issued a proclamation Thursday to raise the speed limit on Jefferson Avenue to 200 miles per hour, but only on race weekend and on the track by the race drivers.
The City of Windsor returns as a key sponsor and partner of the Grand Prix.
Friday, June 2, is Free Prix Day, which means all events and practices are available free of charge. Highlights for Saturday, June 3, include the Trans Am Series and the first race of the Indy NXT presented by Firestone.
For Sunday, June 4, the second Indy NXT will be run, with the main event, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, set to begin at 3 p.m. It will be broadcast live on NBC (WDIV Local 4 in Detroit).
The complete race and entertainment schedule, along with information on how to get tickets, can be found on the race’s official website.