The roar coming from IndyCar models will be heard on the streets of the Motor City this weekend.
The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix officially began its 2023 version Friday morning, returning to downtown Detroit for the first time in over 30 years. Since then, it had been run on and off at Belle Isle State Park.
The downtown course is 1.7 miles long, or 2.74 kilometres, and it features straightaways that may result in cars racing at up to 200 miles, or 321.8 kilometres, per hour. One new feature is a double pit lane, which will allow drivers to pit on two opposite sides rather than a traditional single-file line. The Detroit race will be the first in auto racing to use this pit method.
Friday is traditionally Free Prix Day, with seats in Grandstands 1 and 9 open for general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis, with no access to the paddock area. Seats in all other grandstands are still sold as reserved seat tickets with access to the paddock included.
Northern Irish race driver and commentator John Watson, the winner of the first Detroit Grand Prix in 1982, will serve as grand marshal for the weekend.
Among the schedule highlights for Friday are practice and qualifying laps for the Trans Am Series and the INDY NXT Series.
Saturday will feature the first INDY NXT race, the Trans Am Series Muscle Car Challenge, and the Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Classic, part of the MSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. There will also be a checkered-flag Catholic Mass Saturday evening at Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church, located at 438 St. Antoine Street.
Sunday is the main event, with the race set to begin at 3:30. It will be broadcast live on NBC (Local 4 in Detroit) and on WFDF-AM (910). Australian Will Power is the defending champion.
Complete information on the race weekend schedule and tickets can be found on the Grand Prix's official website.
If you want to use the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel during race weekend, bear in mind that the tunnel will be open as usual, but police will guide drivers around street closures. Placards will be available from tunnel employees and should be put in your window so that police can see you plan to return to Canada.