It’s been months in the making. Each week Detroit’s island jewel, Belle Isle has slowly transformed 2.3 miles into “The Raceway at Belle Isle”, one of the most challenging motor race tracks in the country. From Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5, Belle Isle will host racing enthusiasts from all over the world as the 2016 Detroit Grand Prix kicks off.
As a part of the official Verzion IndyCar Series, this year’s events will include the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers with the sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the high-flying trucks of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS. Partners for the 2016 Grand Prix include General Motors, Quicken Loans, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Verizon Wireless.
On Friday, join the party for the Comerica Bank Free Prix Day. Enjoy the first look at the Grand Prix and enjoy the Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice and qualifying, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks presented by TRAXXAS Race #1, Trans Am practice and qualifying. Saturday the stakes are raised as the Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up and the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Dual #1, WeatherTech SportsCar Championship warm-up and Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers, SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks presented by TRAXXAS Race #2, Verizon IndyCar Series and WeatherTech SportsCar Championship autograph sessions, Trans Am Race #1 take place. Sunday all eyes will be glued to the track as the 2016 Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Dual #2 (Verizon IndyCar Series) takes place with live national television coverage on ABC beginning at 3:30 pm. Local coverage will air on WXYZ Channel 7.
This year’s Grand Prix weekend offers something for everyone to enjoy, even racings youngest fans with the Meijer Fun Zone. This year fans will be treated to activities including displays in the midway and live music featuring The Romantics and Morris Day and the Time, driver autograph sessions, extreme sports demonstrations, free Monster Truck rides, appearances by Detroit sports stars and more. New this year is the Trendy Crafts Show, featuring over 30 of Michigan’s most unique crafts designers. The Taste of Detroit will also be back feeding hungry race goers delicious food from some of the most beloved food trucks and restaurants from around the Metro Detroit area.
This year hometown racing legend, philanthropist, business and civic leader, Roger Penske celebrates 50 years in racing. Beginning as Roger Penske Racing in 1966, competing in sports car and endurance events, Team Penske has grown into one of the most successful racing teams – and sports teams – in the world. The team won its class in the 24 Hours of Daytona in its first start and since then Team Penske has produced a combined 424 wins, 487 pole positions and 28 national championships. Those totals include a historic 16 Indianapolis 500 victories, two Daytona 500 wins and the distinction of being the last American constructor to win a Formula One race, coming in 1976 with driver John Watson. Noted automotive website Jalopnik recently named Team Penske the greatest American racing team of all time. As Team Penske celebrates this special milestone, there will be plenty of surprises in store for race fans this weekend.
Under the leadership of Chairman Bud Denker, since the Grand Prix’s return to Detroit and move to Belle Isle in 2007, the event has made over $13 million dollars in physical improvements to the park, befitting Detroit residents and all who enjoy one of the regions premier outdoor destinations. To date improvements made include the installation of over 475,000 square feet of new concrete for road improvements and other modifications and the repair of damaged lighting and drainage systems. Additionally, the Grand Prix completed renovation of Scott Fountain, the Belle Isle Casino and the Belle Isle Boat Club along with the installation of new pedestrian bridges and playscapes.
This year festivities will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Saturday and Sunday festivities will take place from 7:30 a.m. 8 p.m. There is not parking allowed on Belle Isle during Grand Prix weekend, however visitors can take the Grand Prix Shuttle service, bike or walk onto the park. Tickets are still available and start at just $25 and are available to purchase at Belle Isle. For more information on the Detroit Grand Prix weekend, please visit www.detroitgp.com