2019 Marked the 30th Grand Prix Event in Detroit's History The 2019 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix represented the 30th Grand Prix event hosted in the city of Detroit. The history of this special event was celebrated during the May 31-June 2 race weekend. The Detroit Grand Prix Heritage Exhibit was featured in the Meijer Fan Zone throughout the Grand Prix race weekend and it included historic vehicles and artifacts that commemorated the history of the event in Detroit. The exhibit also hosted fan forums and autograph sessions with previous Detroit race winners and personalities throughout the course of the weekend. In addition to the exhibit on Belle Isle race weekend, the Detroit Historical Museum - located off of Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit's cultural center - features an extensive 30th Detroit Grand Prix exhibit that debuted in early May and will run through June 30. The exhibit illustrates the story of the Grand Prix's impact in Detroit and also includes unique artifacts, memorabilia and historical photography from the event, provided by Autoweek. For more information on the museum, visit https://detroithistorical.org/.
Grand Prix Historical Overview The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear started on the Streets of Detroit in 1982 as an event that featured the international Formula One racing series. With Detroit joining the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Las Vegas Grand Prix as events in the United States that year, it marked the first time that one country hosted more than two Formula One races in a season. In the seven years that Formula One raced on the streets of downtown Detroit, the race featured five different winners, as legendary Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna won the final three races from 1986-1988. After the 1988 Detroit race, there were discussions about moving the Grand Prix circuit to Belle Isle with the event continuing as a Formula One race, but an agreement could not be reached with the series. The Detroit Grand Prix continued on the downtown circuit in 1989 as it welcomed Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) - what would eventually become the current IndyCar Series - as its feature racing series. CART hosted three events on the streets of Detroit as Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi won in 1989 and 1991 while Michael Andretti captured the 1990 event. In 1992, the Detroit Grand Prix transitioned to the temporary street circuit on Belle Isle and, just as it is today, the event became the first race on the CART schedule after the Indianapolis 500. Bobby Rahal won the first race run on Belle Isle on his way to the 1992 series championship. Many legendary IndyCar drivers competed and won the Detroit Grand Prix including Greg Moore, Alex Zanardi, Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves - who climbed the fence to celebrate with the fans in the Motor City after his series win in 2000, as his famous "Spider-Man" victory celebration was born on Belle Isle.
Following the success of Super Bowl XL in Detroit in 2006, Roger Penske - who served as Chairman of the Super Bowl host committee - spearheaded the revival of the Grand Prix in Detroit to build on the positive momentum in the city. Formed as a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the current Detroit Grand Prix promoter group brought the event back to the Motor City and Belle Isle in 2007 as the event featured the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series. Popular Brazilian driver Tony Kanaan won the first IndyCar race back on Belle Isle while the late British driver Justin Wilson won in 2008. The economic recession forced the postponement of the event from 2009-2011, but the Detroit Grand Prix returned in 2012 thanks to the support of General Motors with Chevrolet coming on board as the title sponsor of the event.
In 2013, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix became one of three IndyCar Series venues to host two races in one weekend, joining the Toronto and Houston street course events. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit IndyCar Series doubleheader featured two full championship-points paying races in one weekend, one on Saturday and one Sunday. Since 2015, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear has hosted the only doubleheader race weekend on the IndyCar Series schedule. The unique format of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit has created some memorable moments, including Team Penske winning both races in 2014 with Will Power and Castroneves and Graham Rahal sweeping the weekend with back-to- back race wins in 2017 - 25 years after his father won the first race on Belle Isle. In 2014, America's premiere sports car series - the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship - joined the on-track competition in Detroit. In 2019, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear featured one of the most exciting lineups in racing with the NTT IndyCar Series, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli competing at one of the most unique venues in motorsports as we celebrated the 30th Grand Prix in the history of Detroit.
Detroit Grand Prix All-Time Racing Series and Winners
1982 Formula One: John Watson Super Vee: Jerrill Rice Renault Cup: Jim Cook Vintage Race Car:
1983 Formula One: Michele Alboreto IMSA Champion Spark Plug Challenge: Bobby Archer Renault/Facom Cup Le Car: Ferruccio Zambaiti IMSA Kelly American Challenge: Robert Overby Formula Mondial North American Cup (Atlantics): Josele Garza
1984 Formula One: Nelson Piquet Sports Renault feature: Dave Weitzenhof IMSA Champion Spark Plug Challenge: Bobby Archer Trans Am: Tom Gloy
1985 Formula One: Keke Rosberg Super Vee: Peter Pandur Trans Am: Elliott Forbes-Robinson
1986 Formula One: Ayrton Senna Super Vee: Scott Atchison Lucas Challenge SCCA Sports Renault: Scott Lagasse Trans Am: Wally Dallenbach Jr.
1987 Formula One: Ayrton Senna Super Vee: Paul Radisich Trans Am: Scott Pruett
1988 Formula One: Ayrton Senna Trans Am: Hurley Haywood Super Vee: Paul Radisich
1989 CART: Emerson Fittipaldi Trans Am: Greg Pickett Corvette Challenge: Bill Cooper Indy Lights: Ted Prappas
1990 CART: Michael Andretti Indy Lights: Tommy Byrne Motor City Truck Showdown: Tommy Archer Trans Am: Scott Sharp
1991 CART: Emerson Fittipaldi Indy Lights: Eric Bachelart Trans Am: Scott Sharp
1992 CART: Bobby Rahal Indy Lights: Adrian Fernandez Trans Am: Tommy Archer
1993 CART: Danny Sullivan Indy Lights: Steve Robertson Trans Am: Dorsey Schroeder IMSA Barber Saab Pro: Kenny Bräck
1994 CART: Paul Tracy Neon Challenge: Sean Patrick Flanery Trans Am: Bill Saunders IMSA Barber Saab Pro: Diego Guzman Indy Lights: Steve Robertson
1995 CART: Robby Gordon Trans Am: Ron Fellows Neon Challenge: Sean Patrick Flanery Indy Lights: Robbie Buhl
1996 CART: Michael Andretti Trans Am: Dorsey Schroeder Neon Celebrity Challenge: Desire Wilson Indy Lights: Tony Kanaan North American Touring Car Championship: Darren Law North American Touring Car Championship: Dominic Dobson
1997 CART: Greg Moore Trans Am: Tommy Kendall Indy Lights: Tony Kanaan Neon Charity Challenge: Carl Galeana North American Touring Car Championship: David Donohue North American Touring Car Championship: Dominic Dobson
1998 CART: Alex Zanardi Trans Am: Paul Gentilozzi Barber Dodge Pro: Jeff Simmons Neon Charity Challenge: Carl Galeana Neon Charity Challenge: Jeff Stevens Indy Lights: Airton Dare?
1999 CART: Dario Franchitti Trans Am: Brian Simo Indy Lights: Derek Higgins Neon Charity Challenge: Bob Stander Neon Charity Challenge: Bob Stander Barber Dodge Pro: Todd Snyder
2000 CART: Helio Castroneves Trans Am: Paul Gentilozzi Indy Lights: Jonny Kane Neon Charity Challenge: Bob Stander Neon Charity Challenge: Doug Peterson IMSA Barber Saab Pro/Barber Dodge Pro Series: Jon Fogarty
2001 CART: Helio Castroneves Trans Am: Paul Gentilozzi World Challenge GT (Pirelli World Challenge): Peter Cunningham IMSA Barber Saab Pro/Barber Dodge Pro Series: Matt Plumb Celebrity Team Challenge: Sean Patrick Flanery
2007 IndyCar: Tony Kanaan American Le Mans: Tim Bernhard/Romain Dumas (LMP2), Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner (LMP1), Johnny O’Connell/Jan Magnussen (GT1), Mika Salo/Jamie Melo (GT2)
2008 IndyCar: Justin Wilson American Le Mans: James Rossiter/Franck Montagny (LMP2), Oliver Gavin/Olivier Beretta (GT1), Wolf Henzler/Jorg Bergmeister (GT2) World Challenge GT (Pirelli World Challenge): Randy Probst
2012 IndyCar: Scott Dixon Grand-Am: Joao Barbosa/J.C. France/Darren Law (P), Paul Edwards/Jordan Taylor (GT) World Challenge: Johnny O’Connell (GT), Andy Lee (GTS) World Challenge: Johnny O’Connell (GT), Andy Lee (GTS) Indy Lights: Gustavo Yacama?n
2013 IndyCar: Mike Conway IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud Grand-Am: Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor (DP), John Edwards/Robin Liddell (GT) World Challenge: Johnny O’Connell (GT), Mark Wilkins (GTS) World Challenge: Randy Pobst (GT), Dean Martin (GTS)
2014 IndyCar: Will Power IndyCar: Helio Castroneves IMSA: Ricky Taylor/Jordan Taylor (P), Alessandro Balzan/Jeff Westphal (GTD) World Challenge: Johnny O’Connell (GT), Dean Martin (GTS) World Challenge: Johnny O’Connell (GT), Dean Martin (GTS) Stadium SUPER Trucks: E.J. Viso Stadium SUPER Trucks: E.J. Viso Stadium SUPER Trucks: E.J. Viso
2015 IndyCar: Carlos Munoz IndyCar: Sebastien Bourdais IMSA: Dane Cameron/Eric Curran (P), Renger van der Zande/Mirco Schultis (PC), Mario Farnbacher/Ian James (GTD) World Challenge: Kevin Estre (GT), Henrique Cisneros (GTA) Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks: Robby Gordon Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks: E.J. Viso Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks: Burt Jenner
2016 IndyCar: Sebastien Bourdais IndyCar: Will Power IMSA: Ricky Taylor/Jordan Taylor (P), Renger van der Zande/Alex Popow (PC), Jeroen Bleekemolen/Ben Keating (GTD) Trans Am: RJ Lopez (TA) Kyle Marcelli (TA2) Dean Martin (TA4) Trans Am: John Baucom (TA) Adam Andretti (TA2) Ernie Francis Jr. (TA4) Stadium SUPER Trucks: Matt Brabham Stadium SUPER Trucks: Matt Brabham
2017 IndyCar: Graham Rahal IndyCar: Graham Rahal IMSA: Ricky Taylor/Jordan Taylor (P), James French/Patricio O’Ward (PC), Andy Lally/Katherine Legge (GTD) Trans Am: Ernie Francis Jr. (TA) Trans Am: Gar Robinson (TA2) Stadium SUPER Trucks: Sheldon Creed Stadium SUPER Trucks: Sheldon Creed
2018 IndyCar: Scott Dixon IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay IMSA: Felipe Nasr/Eric Curran (P), Katherine Legge/Mario Farnbacher (GTD) Trans Am: Tony Buffomante (TA2) Trans Am: Rafa Matos (TA2) Stadium SUPER Trucks: Gavin Harilen Stadium SUPER Trucks: Arie Luyendyk Jr.
2019 IndyCar: Josef Newgarden IndyCar: Scott Dixon IMSA: Juan Pablo Montoya/Dane Cameron (P), Jack Hawksworth/Richard Heistand (GTD) Trans Am: Misha Goikhberg (TA) Trans Am: Tony Ave (TA2)