Vroom! The Detroit Grand Prix is ready to roll on Belle Isle for one last time

Left to right: Jun Ham, VP GM Truck Seating; Jim Campbell, U.S. VP Performance Vehicles & Motorsports General Motors; Bud Denker, Chairman Grand Prix; Mike Perazza, Partner, Deloitte LLP. (photo by Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Detroit — The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear hosted a media luncheon on Thursday at the Detroit Yacht Club on beautiful Belle Isle.  It featured the following drivers:  Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, Sebastian Bourdais, Ernie Francis, Jr. and special guest Marcus Ericsson who won the Indianapolis 500 just a week ago.

Bud Denker, Chairman of the Grand Prix says it is bittersweet to be back on Belle Isle.  “I have been Chairman for 13 year and I love it.  This is where the city comes together on Belle Isle,” says Denker. 

“Our legacy is what we’re leaving behind. The Scott Fountain wouldn’t be turned on if the Grand Prix wasn’t here.  The renovated Casino would not have happened if the Grand Prix wasn’t here.  Next year’s course is an amazing circuit we designed.  It has difficult left hand turns, when they are driving 160-180 miles per hour.  For the first time ever, there will be a pit lane.  Some will go to the left and some to the right and then the drivers will have to figure out how to get back on the track,” added Denker.

Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles & Motorsports at General Motors, announced that the Corvette Z06 pace car will be featured on the track and Mark Reuss is going to drive it on Sunday.  Also, he mentioned that the new Silverado EV will be displayed on the island.

Jun Ham, Vice President of General Motors Truck Seating, says, “We have a longstanding relationship with General Motors.  The seats in the Corvette and Silverado is Lear.”

Mike Perazzo, Partner, Deloitte LLP, says we have a longstanding relationship with Belle Isle.  There is a Belle Isle cleanup crew and people donate thousands of hours to do this.

Race car driver Will Power said racing here is unique.  Josef Newgarden added, “There is extra pressure that we need to perform.  You just don’t know if you are gonna get it, it’s tight.  I am really pumped to go downtown next year.”  Scott McLaughlin says, “We really got a good shot at winning and will hit Belle Isle with a bang.  I’m looking forward to jumping in Scott Fountain.” 

Sebastian Bourdais added, “It’s a huge challenge on Belle Isle with hitting the bumps.  Hoping to put a Cadillac on the podium.”  Ernie Francis, Jr. hopes to get good results for the double header.  ” I will rest up the night before the race,” says Francis.

Marcus Ericsson from Sweden, drove the No. 8 Honda for Chip Gnassi Racing and won the Indianapolis 500.  “It’s been a hectic Sunday for sure.  I love Belle Isle and can’t wait to see the fans in Detroit.  I hope to repeat that win this weekend,” says Ericsson.  I asked him, What was it like to drink milk in the winner’s circle last weekend?  He said, “It was great and it was the best milk I ever had.”

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will take place this weekend June 3-5, 2022.  It will be the last race on Belle Isle as the race moves to the downtown circuit beginning 2023.  The island will reflect some past memories and posters from the last 21 races on the island.  There is a lot of history here and the focus will be on family and community as this year’s poster reflects.  A few general admission tickets are still available as the Chalet and Reserved Seat tickets are sold out.

Kevin Lee of NBC Sports officiated the media luncheon and noted that the race on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 3 p.m. ET.   See you at the races! 

For tickets and more info about the Detroit Grand Prix, visit www.DetroitGP.com.

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