The Detroit Grand Prix will return in 2019 and beyond after organizers of the event and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) reached an agreement to bring world-class racing back to Belle Isle for at least the next three years.
After the previous agreement to host the event on the MDNR-managed island concluded with the 2018 race weekend, the group that puts on the multi-series festival submitted a proposal to the MDNR on July 13 to secure a future for the event. A July 20 response from the agency included financial and logistic suggestions.
The revised proposal, agreed upon by both parties, will result in a decreased construction and post-event take down time allotment. Crews will have 60 days in 2019 and 59 days the following two years — a reduction of five days from the time spent on the island in 2018 and a 35-day reduction from 2015.
Furthermore, the event has agreed to increase its contribution for utilizing Belle Isle for the race weekend from $200,000 to $450,000 for each year. While $325,000 of that sum is the event fee, the remaining $125,000 will be used by the MDNR for specific projects on the island.
With more than $4 million raised for the Belle Isle Conservancy in the last half decade, the signature Grand Prixmiere fundraising event will return on the Friday night of each race weekend to heighten the Grand Prix’s positive impact on the island.
“We are proud to showcase the beauty of Belle Isle around the world every year and to make such a positive impact on the local economy with over $50 million in total spending generated annually as a result of the Grand Prix,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the event.
As the 30th Grand Prix in the Motor City’s history, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will return May 30 to June 2, 2019. The doubleheader format for the Verizon IndyCar Series will be present along with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s DPi, LMP2 and GT Daytona divisions for the 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic.
The new agreement includes an option to extend the event two additional years to 2023, pushing it into the period when new cars are planned to debut for IndyCar and the WeatherTech Championship.