DETROIT – The Dual in Detroit is back! Engines roared Sunday on Belle Isle as the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear continued.
Friday was Free Prix Day, which allowed race fans to get an inside-look at the Detroit Grand Prix as drivers compete in practice and qualifying races.
Gates opened at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The day’s events include Indy Light Series qualifying races, IMSA Weather Tech Sports Car Championship Warm-up, the first Chevrolet Dual In Detroit (the second Dual in Detroit race will be Sunday), the Cadillac and Corvette Car Corral Track Laps and more.
Gates opened at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. The events included, INDYCAR Experience 2-Seater Rides, NTT INDYCAR Series Qualifying, Indy Light Series Race No. 2, Chevrolet Dual in Detroit, NTT INDYCAR Series, Cadillac and Corvette Car Corral Track Laps.
Sunday comes with a dramatic finish for the Dual in Detroit
Sunday was another exciting day of racing on Belle Isle for the Dual in Detroit. Fans got another great show with another dramatic finish.
Pato O’Ward won his second IndyCar race of 2021 during the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear. O’Ward led only three laps in route to his win. Along with a third-place finish in Saturday’s race, the victory let O’Ward take the championship points’ lead by one marker over Alex Palou.
Q: "You're the Championship leader. Can you believe that?"— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) June 13, 2021
A: "Yes, I can." - @patriciooward
Pato O'Ward now sits P1 in the Championship standings and will take that lead into @roadamerica next weekend.#INDYCAR // #DetroitGP // @detroitgp pic.twitter.com/2uHFgvtuu4
Local 4′s Bernie Smilovitz and Jamie Edmonds spoke with the drivers who topped the leaderboard.
Fans were out in full force on Sunday
There may have been fewer people in the stands on Sunday, but that only made for better viewing. The temperatures were down but the energy was up. Despite the fewer fans, there was just as much excitement.
When the racing was finished, crews broke down their cars and loaded up after a long weekend of racing. That’s when Local 4 caught up with J’Nea and Bridgette Burley. Bridgette Burley turns 50 on July 7 and the Grand Prix was the first of 50 birthday bucket list items.
“It was awesome. It was an awesome adventure. It was a beautiful day. And just seeing all of this, witnessing all the people back out and enjoying -- and it was awesome,” Bridgette Burley said.
Watch the video above for the full report.
What it’s like to ride with any INDYCAR driver
Watching the race on TV or even from the grandstands, it’s impossible to appreciate what the drivers experience out on the actual racecourse.
Local 4′s Kim DeGiulio got a taste of IndyCar racing on Sunday with the experience of a lifetime -- a hot lap on the Belle Isle course.
The car reached more than 150 miles per hour, which is only 80% of the full speed. DeGiulio said it only took about 20 minutes for her heart to stop racing -- and she only went around once. The IndyCar racers go around the track 70 times.
Grand Prix: Hear from winner Pato O’Ward
Pato O’Ward won his second IndyCar race of 2021 during the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear.
O’Ward led only three laps in route to his win. Along with a third-place finish in Saturday’s race, the victory let O’Ward take the championship points’ lead by one marker over Alex Palou.
Watch a recording of the live interview above.
Turning the Grand Prix into a family affair
Having a good team can mean the difference between taking home a win or going home empty handed -- the same goes for the other side of the track.
Having a good team of volunteers makes race day run smoothly. Local 4 spoke with one volunteer who has made the Detroit Grand Prix a family affair.
Shawn Fitzgerald is a race fan and has been volunteering for the Grand Prix for nearly 3 decades. She signed up on a whim.
“Friends of mine that I was going to college with learned about it and said, ‘Do you want to try?’ And two weeks later we were in Downtown Detroit working on the race,’” Fitzgerald said.
She met her husband while volunteering and they’ve been married for almost 25 years. They have two daughters that also volunteer with the Grand Prix.