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Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

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Title: Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix  
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Subject: Dale Coyne Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, A. J. Foyt Enterprises, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
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Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit
Location The Raceway on Belle Isle
Detroit, USA
Corporate sponsor Quicken Loans
First race 1982
First race 2007
Distance 164.22 miles (264.286 km)
Laps 70
Previous names Detroit Grand Prix (1982–87)
EniChem Detroit Grand Prix (1988)
Valvoline Detroit Grand Prix (1989–1991)
ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix (1992–1998)
Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit (1999–2001)
Detroit Indy Grand Prix Presented by Firestone (2007–2008)
Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Presented by (2012)
Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans (2013)
Most wins (driver) 3 drivers tied (2)
Most wins (team) Penske Racing (6)
Most wins (manufacturer) Reynard (6)
Circuit information
Surface Asphalt/Concrete
Length 2.36 mi (3.80 km)
Turns 14
Lap record 1:10.3162 (Scott Dixon, Dallara DW12-Honda, 2012, IndyCar)

The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans is a weekend of professional auto racing held at the Renaissance Center and later Belle Isle in Detroit, United States. It has been held from 1989–2001 and from 2007–08, restarting in 2012. It has headlined the CART open-wheel series in the first era and the IndyCar Series in the latter, supported by feeders such as the Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic and top-level sports car series such as the Trans-Am Series and the ALMS. It has been held in June, after the Milwakuee and before the Portland.

Open wheel racing in Detroit dates back to the 1920s–1950s, when AAA held the Detroit 100 at the Michigan State Fairgrounds Speedway. AAA also held one five-mile (8 km), non-championship race at Grosse Pointe in 1905.


  • Formula One 1
  • CART 2
    • Demise 2.1
  • IndyCar revival 3
  • Past winners 4
  • Detroit Sports Car Classic 5
  • Atlantics/Lights winners 6
  • Trans-Am Motor City 100 winners 7
  • Circuit maps 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Formula One

The current race has its origins dating back to 1982 when it was a Formula One World Championship event held on the Detroit street circuit encompassing the Renaissance Center. The original circuit was 2.493 miles (4.012 km) with seventeen corners, and proved to be even slower than Monaco. The rough, demanding, course even included a railroad track crossing and mimicked Monaco, with a tunnel on the main straight. While officially the Detroit Grand Prix, it also has been referred to as the United States Grand Prix East, because there were multiple Grands Prix in the U.S. at the time. By the time of the 1988 race, FISA, the governing body of Formula One, had declared the street circuit's temporary pits were not up to the required standard and for 1989 the race was planned to be moved to Belle Isle,[1] a city park in the Detroit River, but an agreement could not be established. Instead, in 1989 Formula One left Detroit permanently, and the U.S. Grand Prix moved to Phoenix.

The Detroit Street Circuit does however hold a special place in Formula One history. In 1983, Italian driver Michele Alboreto drove his Tyrrell 011 to victory in the US Grand Prix East in what would prove to be the 155th and last ever F1 win by the legendary Cosworth DFV V8 engine.


For 1989, the race in Detroit was replaced by a CART event. Instead of moving the race, CART utilized a slightly modified version of the street circuit, eliminating the chicane on the main straight (something the F1 drivers had been calling for since the first race in 1982). The race was held on this 2.52-mile (4.06 km) layout for three years. Beginning in 1992, the race was moved to the previously planned temporary course on Belle Isle. The first layout measured 2.1 miles (3.4 km). After a subtle reconfiguration, and due to CART remeasuring all circuits in 1997, the track then measured 2.346 miles (3.776 km).

The event, along with the Michigan 500, provided two CART races in southern Michigan annually.

The 2000 event saw young Brazilian Hélio Castroneves score his first Champ Car victory for Marlboro Team Penske. After his victory lap, he stopped on the frontstretch and climbed the catch fencing in an apparent effort to share his joy with the spectators. Helio became known as "Spider-Man" because of this celebration, which has been repeated in his later victories.

From 1984–2001, the SCCA Trans-Am Series held a race in support of the Detroit Grand Prix. The Motor City 100 was often regarded as the most important event of the Trans Am schedule.


Even though the track was a temporary street course, it is known as The Raceway on Belle Isle. It was widely criticized for its narrowness, poor access, and its overall uncompetitive nature. Participants also disliked the facility because of its lack of paved areas for support activities. Paddock areas were often muddy and unable to accommodate the teams.

After 2001, CART chose to drop the race from the schedule.

IndyCar revival

In 2006, Roger Penske spearheaded talks to revive the race for 2007 as part of the ALMS and IndyCar Series schedules. Penske had recently experienced tremendous success as head of the Super Bowl XL Detroit Metro Host Committee. On September 29, 2006, it was announced that the Detroit Indy Grand Prix would return as the tenth race of the ALMS's 12-race season and penultimate race of the IndyCar Series' seventeen-race schedule.

To improve access to the track, a park-and-ride system, similar to what was used at Super Bowl XL, was implemented. Further paddock and track work was completed before the race. The 2007 event attracted a strong crowd, and was considered a success. It was held again in 2008.

On December 18, 2008, the scheduled race for 2009 was canceled. The ongoing automotive economic crisis, and its impact on the Detroit-area was the primary reason. Roger Penske did not rule out a return in the future.[2][3]

On September 20, 2011, race organizers gained approval from Detroit City Council to use the updated track and support area on Belle Isle.[4] On October 11, 2011, it was announced that the race would return starting in 2012.[5] The event returned to its 1998–2001 layout starting with the 2013 race.[6]

Beginning in 2013, the event was expanded to become a "doubleheader" with separate, full points-paying races on both Saturday and Sunday.

Past winners

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km)
Grosse Pointe dirt oval
1905 August 8 Webb Jay White White steam engine

Not held
AAA Championship Car history (Michigan State Fairgrounds dirt oval)
1928 June 10 Ray Keech Miller Miller
1929 June 9 Cliff Woodbury Miller Miller
1930 June 9 Wilbur Shaw Smith Miller
1931 June 14 Louis Meyer Stevens Miller
1932 June 9 Bob Carey Stevens Miller
September 10 Mauri Rose Stevens Miller
June 11 Bill Cummings Miller Miller

Not held
1949 September 11 Tony Bettenhausen Kurtis Kraft Offenhauser
1950 September 10 Henry Banks Moore Offenhauser
1951 September 9 Paul Russo Russo/Nichels Offenhauser
1952 August 30 Bill Vukovich Kuzma Offenhauser
1953 July 4 Rodger Ward Kurtis Kraft Offenhauser

Not held
USAC Championship Car history (Michigan State Fairgrounds dirt oval)
1957 June 23 Jimmy Bryan Kuzma Offenhauser 100 100 (160.934) 1:14:47 80.232

Not held
CART Champ Car history (Renaissance Center)
1989 June 18 Emerson Fittipaldi Patrick Racing Penske Ilmor-Chevrolet 62 155 (249.448) 2:02:11 76.112 Report
1990 June 17 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ilmor-Chevrolet 62 155 (249.448) 1:49:32 84.902 Report
1991 June 16 Emerson Fittipaldi Penske Racing Penske Ilmor-Chevrolet 62 156.24 (251.443) 1:57:19 79.455 Report
CART Champ Car history (Belle Isle)
1992 June 7 Bobby Rahal Rahal/Hogan Racing Lola Ilmor-Chevrolet 77 161.7 (260.23) 1:58:20 81.989 Report
1993 June 13 Danny Sullivan Galles Racing Lola Ilmor-Chevrolet 77 161.7 (260.23) 1:56:43 83.116 Report
1994 June 12 Paul Tracy Penske Racing Penske Ilmor 77 161.7 (260.23) 1:52:29 86.245 Report
1995 June 11 Robby Gordon Walker Racing Reynard Ford 77 161.7 (260.23) 1:56:11 83.499 Report
1996 June 9 Michael Andretti Newman/Haas Racing Lola Ford 72* 151.2 (243.332) 2:00:44 75.136 Report
1997 June 8 Greg Moore Forsythe Racing Reynard Mercedes 77 161.7 (260.23) 1:52:45 86.047 Report
1998 June 7 Alex Zanardi Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda 72 168.912 (271.837) 1:41:17 100.052 Report
1999 August 8 Dario Franchitti Team Green Reynard Honda 71 166.566 (268.061) 2:02:24 81.643 Report
2000 June 18 Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing Reynard Honda 84 197.064 (317.143) 2:01:23 97.401 Report
2001 June 7 Hélio Castroneves Penske Racing Reynard Honda 72 168.912 (271.837) 1:53:51 89.008 Report

Not held
IndyCar Series history (Belle Isle)
2007 September 2 Tony Kanaan Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda 89* 186.544 (300.213) 2:11:51 83.841 Report
2008 August 31 Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Dallara Honda 87* 182.352 (293.467) 2:00:11 89.911 Report

Not held
2012 June 3 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda 60* 124.2 (199.88) 1:27:40 85.012 Report
2013 June 1 Mike Conway Dale Coyne Racing Dallara Honda 70 164.22 (264.286) 1:48:45 90.753 Report
June 2 Simon Pagenaud Schmidt Peterson Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara Honda 70 164.22 (264.286) 1:56:15 84.906
2014 May 31 Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 70 164.22 (264.286) 1:49:30 90.138 Report
June 1 Hélio Castroneves Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 70 164.22 (264.286) 1:45:53 93.211
2015 May 30 Carlos Munoz Andretti Autosport Dallara Honda 47* 110.45 (177.752) 1:27:46 75.51 Report
May 31 Sebastien Bourdais KV Racing Technology Dallara Chevrolet 68* 159.8 (257.173) 2:00:38 79.476
  • 1996, 2007, & 2008: Race shortened due to time limit.
  • 2012: Race shortened due to 2 hour delay for track repair with darkness approaching and concerns over whether the patched track would survive the remaining distance.
  • 2015: First race shortened due to rain. Second race shortened due to time limit.

Detroit Sports Car Classic

American Le Mans Series
Year LMP1 Winning Team LMP2 Winning Team GT1 Winning Team GT2 Winning Team Results
LMP1 Winning Drivers LMP2 Winning Drivers GT1 Winning Drivers GT2 Winning Drivers
2007 #2 Audi Sport North America #7 Penske Racing #3 Corvette Racing #62 Risi Competizione Results
Emanuele Pirro
Marco Werner
Timo Bernhard
Romain Dumas
Johnny O'Connell
Jan Magnussen
Mika Salo
Jaime Melo
2008 #37 Intersport Racing #26 Andretti Green Racing #4 Corvette Racing #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Results
John Field
Clint Field
Richard Berry
Franck Montagny
James Rossiter
Olivier Beretta
Oliver Gavin
Jörg Bergmeister
Wolf Henzler
Rolex Sports Car Series
Year DP Winning Team GT Winning Team Results
DP Winning Drivers GT Winning Drivers
2012 #9 Action Express Racing #88 Autohaus Motorsports Results
João Barbosa
J. C. France
Darren Law
Paul Edwards
Jordan Taylor
Year DP Winning Team GT Winning Team GX Winning Team Results
DP Winning Drivers GT Winning Drivers GX Winning Drivers
2013 #10 Wayne Taylor Racing #57 Stevenson Motorsports #00 Speedsource Results
Max Angelelli
Jordan Taylor
John Edwards
Robin Liddell
Joel Miller
Tristan Nunez
United SportsCar Championship
Year Prototype Winning Team GT Daytona Winning Team Results
Prototype Winning Drivers GT Daytona Winning Drivers
2014 #10 Wayne Taylor Racing #63 Scuderia Corsa Results
Jordan Taylor
Ricky Taylor
Alessandro Balzan
Jeff Westphal
Year Prototype Winning Team Prototype Challenge Winning Team GT Daytona Winning Team Results
DP Winning Drivers Prototype Challenge Winning Drivers GT Daytona Winning Drivers
2015 #31 Action Express Racing #8 Starworks Motorsport #23 Team Seattle / Alex Job Racing Results
Dane Cameron
Eric Curran
Renger van der Zande
Mirco Schultis
Ian James
Mario Farnbacher

Atlantics/Lights winners

Atlantic Championship
Season Date Winning Driver
1983 June 5 Josele Garza
Indy Lights
1989 June 18 Ted Prappas
1990 June 17 Tommy Byrne
1991 June 16 Eric Bachelart
1992 June 7 Adrián Fernández
1993 June 13 Steve Robertson
1994 June 12 Steve Robertson
1995 June 11 Robbie Buhl
1996 June 9 Tony Kanaan
1997 June 8 Tony Kanaan
1998 June 7 Airton Daré
1999 August 8 Derek Higgins
2000 June 18 Jonny Kane
2001–2011: Not held
2012 June 2 Gustavo Yacamán

Trans-Am Motor City 100 winners

Year Driver Car
1984 Tom Gloy Mercury Capri
1985 Elliott Forbes-Robinson Buick Regal
1986 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Chevrolet Camaro
1987 Scott Pruett Merkur XR4Ti
1988 Hurley Haywood Audi Quattro
1989 Greg Pickett Chevrolet Camaro
1990 Scott Sharp
1992 Tommy Archer Dodge Daytona
1993 Dorsey Schroeder Ford Mustang
1994 Bill Saunders
1995 Ron Fellows Chevrolet Camaro
1996 Dorsey Schroeder Ford Mustang
1997 Tommy Kendall
1998 Paul Gentilozzi Chevrolet Camaro
1999 Brian Simo Ford Mustang
2000 Paul Gentilozzi Jaguar XKR

^A Winner Wally Dallenbach, Jr. was disqualified due to car being underweight.

Circuit maps


  1. ^ Ayrton Senna: Racing in My Blood, Official Video Biography (Kultur Video, 1991)
  2. ^ "Detroit IndyCar race no-go for 2009". 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  3. ^ "INDYCAR: Detroit Cancelled for 2009, Vision Racing Trims Staff". 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  4. ^ "City Council OKs Detroit Grand Prix request". 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  5. ^ Belle Isle will host 2012 Detroit Grand Prix
  6. ^ Cavin, Curt (2012-06-04). "IndyCar Series | Indianapolis Star". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 

External links

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