Successful Return of Belle Isle Grand Prix


DETROIT – The final numbers are in, and they reveal a very successful return of world-class auto racing to the Motor City last weekend at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

As the beautiful waterfronts of both Detroit and Windsor, Canada, were showcased across the globe through national and international television broadcasts, some new high-water marks for attendance were established June 1-3 as Belle Isle hosted its first Grand Prix in nearly four years.

The Grand Prix experienced the highest sales date in its history on Saturday as the furious activity accounted for more than 10% of all ticket sales this year. With huge crowds on Saturday and Sunday – the two paid ticket attendance days – the final count revealed a 22% increase in overall ticket sales compared to the last Grand Prix event on Belle Isle in 2008.

Despite a cold and rainy Friday on PNC Bank Free Prix Day, attendance was solid; over 700 Detroit Public School students enjoyed a truly unique experience at the Grand Prix, thanks to PNC Bank. Over the three-day weekend, more than 95,000 people visited Belle Isle. On Sunday alone, more than 45,000 fans attended the day’s activities as nearly 30,000 reserved grandstand seats were sold out that morning.

“The 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle was a huge success for the city of Detroit, our region, and the state of Michigan. It became a galvanizing, watershed event that brought together public and private communities, as well as international attendees, in ways no one could have imagined,” said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “The crowds on Saturday and Sunday were unbelievable. We could not have been more pleased with the support we received for the return of the Grand Prix.”

More than 45 different corporations supported the event. “We thank Chevrolet,, and all of our valued partners. Without their support we would not have been able to bring the Grand Prix back to Belle Isle,” said Denker.

With five races featuring four different series competing over the course of the weekend and a premiere entertainment lineup paired with family-friendly activities in the Meijer Family Fun Zone, there was plenty to do and see at the Grand Prix.

“Anyone who knows Bud Denker, Roger Penske, and the Penske Corporation knew that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was going to be a success,” said Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America.

Transportation on and off the island was seamless during the course of the weekend. With no public parking available to race attendees, the over 100 transportation shuttles and first-time Grand Prix ferry service to and from Belle Isle were very effective.

The Grand Prixmiere charity gala, held on Friday evening, June 1, at the GM Renaissance Center was also a huge success, as the event helped generate over $250,000 for the Belle Isle Conservancy.

Perhaps the highlight of the race weekend was the efforts of the over 1,000 volunteers that worked the race. The friendly and helpful Grand Prix ambassadors made sure to provide top-notch service to event attendees throughout the weekend.

Next year’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be held May 31-June 2, 2013. For more information, visit and follow their social media pages at and