Grand Prix News

Back to News

Comerica Bank Surprises Detroit Students with Grand Prix Trip

Comerica Bank Surprises Detroit Students with Grand Prix Trip


DETROIT (March 23, 2017) – Comerica Bank surprised 50 Detroit high school students today with an exclusive field trip to the 2017 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. The ninth through 12th-grade students at Central High School will take their interests in robotics and STEM initiatives to the next level when they meet with several racing professionals during a behind-the-scenes tour of race activities on Belle Isle during Comerica Bank Free Prix Day on Friday, June 2.

“It’s important to provide examples for students about how they can apply what they are learning in school to real-world professions,” said Michael T. Ritchie, president of Comerica Bank – Michigan. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear to provide these students with an experience that hopefully sparks an interest in a possible career in the racing industry. At a minimum, we want to open their eyes to the unique career opportunities available with a STEM education.”

Ritchie made the announcement during a panel discussion at a private event at Central High School that featured JR Hildebrand, driver for Ed Carpenter Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series, who talked to the students about the science and technology behind racing.

The Central High School students also got the opportunity to showcase their most recent robotics projects at the school and share some of their experiences with Hildebrand, the 29-year-old native of Sausalito, Calif. Students also got the chance to see a real IndyCar up close as Hildebrand pointed out the key characteristics of the Dallara/Chevrolet on display at the school that affect aerodynamics and balance.

“Many of the people that work in racing today fueled their passion for the sport after being introduced to STEM as a child,” said Michael Montri, General Manager for Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. “JR Hildebrand is a great example of a student that became interested in engineering and the physics of motorsports early on and he has fostered that knowledge on his way to becoming an instructor in the vehicular dynamics program at Stanford University when he’s not racing. It was a special opportunity for these students to hear JR’s story. Comerica Bank Free Prix Day opens the doors for fans to enjoy the first day of Grand Prix activities on Belle Isle, and it also provides students with a chance to see what opportunities are out there for them if they choose to pursue a career in racing.”

During Comerica Bank Free Prix Day all fans will have free access to Belle Isle Park and are welcome to enjoy all the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear racing action that day at no charge.

Fans will experience the sights and sounds of the first day of the Grand Prix, featuring all four racing series on track. Fans can also access the paddock area, often referred as the “locker room” of motorsports, where the teams work on their cars throughout the weekend. Visitors will also enjoy interactive displays, extreme sports demonstrations, family-friendly activities and more in the Meijer Fan Zone, along with live music on the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage.

For more information about Comerica Bank Free Prix Day and all the on-track and off-track activities at the Grand Prix, visit

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Scheduled for June 2-4, 2017, the event will include the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit featuring the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic with the exotic sports cars of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the high-flying trucks of the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in the Motor City 100. Partners for the 2017 Grand Prix include General Motors, Lear Corporation and MotorCity Casino Hotel. For more information, visit and follow our social media pages at, and

Comerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Founded in Detroit in 1849, Comerica continues to invest in Michigan, including the multi-million dollar restoration of Comerica Bank Center, its Michigan Market headquarters in downtown Detroit. For generations, Comerica Bank has been making a positive difference in the lives of Michigan residents, helping its customers be successful and providing financial assistance to help charitable organizations meet their diverse goals. Ranked No. 2 in deposit market share in Michigan, Comerica’s naming rights agreement for Comerica Park helped support this jewel in Detroit’s downtown revitalization plan. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit Follow us on Twitter at @ComericaCares.