What’s new at the Detroit Grand Prix this year

The race weekend is just about 2 weeks away

If you haven’t been downtown along Jefferson Avenue lately, you haven’t seen the changes happening in Detroit to get the city ready for race day. We are just about two weeks away from the Chevrolet Grand Prix Presented by Lear and it is going to be a big weekend in Detroit.

Michelle Oliver got a chance to talk to Michael Montri, the Grand Prix President, to get an update on preparations. Montri says preparations are well underway with barriers and stands already up along Atwater, but they are trying to keep in mind Detroit drivers so they can still easily get around the city. This Sunday they will start their construction along Jefferson, keeping all the major intersections open for travel. They won’t actually close down Jefferson until Wednesday, May 31.

This is the first time the race will be in the streets of Detroit instead of on Belle Isle since the early 1990s. Montri says they moved the race to the streets so that the community could more easily watch and be a part of the race weekend. There will be free viewing platforms and guests can park and eat wherever they would like in the city.

The circuit is very loosely based on the F1 track from the early 80s, but according to Montri, there are only so many places that were big enough to hold the pit lane and paddock, so once that was decided, the course was built around that. Speaking of the pit lane, since they were limited on space, they have come up with a dual-lane pit lane, the first of its kind for an IndyCar race.

She also spoke to Austin Green, a Trans-Am Series racing driver with Peterson Racing and sponsored by 3 Dimensional Services Group, who will be racing in Detroit for the first time. This will also be his first city track, and he says he is excited, but that the race will be quite technical with “no room to mess up” due to the narrow lanes of the street course.

For the full interview, watch the video above.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.