Ayrton Senna leading the Detroit Grand Prix, with the Renaissance Center looming in the background. 

From 1982 to 1988, Detroit was an annual stop on the Formula One racing circuit. The street course was considered one of the toughest on the circuit and even featured a railroad crossing.  Senna was the winner of the last three F1 races in Detroit, from 1986 to 1988.

From the book, “Postcards From Detroit: Remembering Formula 1 in the Motor City” by Roger Hart


After months of preparation and planning, the sounds of race cars were back in Detroit for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. I’ve been a fan of F1 and Indy since I was a kid, so it’s kinda cool to see the Andretti’s, Rahal’s, Foyt’s and others that I watched back then, owning teams now! As a photographer I get real excited for the race weekend. I have no problems being at the track all day! It seems like each year I get a whole new opportunity and perspective. The ultimate goal for me is to obtain a media pass one day by shooting for a major publication, news outlet, Indy, or the Detroit Grand Prix organization! Wherever I am I make the best of my location and try to get shots that still show the essence of the day. Whether its catching Helio Castroneves taking a curve, or seeing Dario Franchitti signing autographs for fans……I try to take it all in. So sit back a and enjoy a little bit of my weekend in the D!

Full set can be viewed at:

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Racing, McLarenLast weekend’s Indianapolis 500 was indeed the most prominent race of the 2014 IndyCar series so far, with driver Ryan Hunter-Reay winning in what was an incredibly close fight to the very last lap. But the Indy 500 doesn’t mark the end of the IndyCar season, and this weekend, the series heads to Detroit for the Belle Isle Grand Prix - an event that brought open-wheel racing back to The D in 2012 (to admittedly terrible results).

But this weekend’s Belle Isle events aren’t just about IndyCar. In fact, there’s a whole host of racing to be found on the small island in the Detroit River this weekend, including the Pirelli World Challenge competition, which many folks love, if only because the racecars are actually based off of production vehicles.

As part of this week’s pre-race festivities, Autoblog multimedia director Adam Morath got to meet with the folks from K-Pax Racing and check out their McLaren 12C GT3 racer. Morath got strapped in and was told to hang on to his five-point for a memorable hot lap of Belle Isle in the 12C GT3, and he captured the experience on video. Scroll down to check it out.

Continue reading Hot lapping Detroit’s Belle Isle in a McLaren 12C GT3

Hot lapping Detroit’s Belle Isle in a McLaren 12C GT3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I was at Dover today so I completely missed the Detroit GP

Lucky for me Twitter is a wonderful thing, found out about the whole debacle while I was walking out of the track. I’m glad I forgot to record the race, I wouldn’t have wanted to watch it anyway, what an embarrassment.


The Detroit Grand Prix is back!  From 1982 to 1988, F1 racing took place in a circuit around the Renassiance Center in downtown Detroit. This weekend, the race is back for the first time in over 20 years on Belle Isle.

Someone let us know if Christie Brinkley shows up again.  Ayrton Senna, too.


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Coleman A. Young International... Raceway?

Aaron Foley at Jalopnik pointed out that old Detroit City Airport, now Coleman A. Young International Airport, one-time Southwest Airlines hub and current occasional municipal airfield and Road & Track test facility, is going on the block to try and raise money for the bankrupt Motor City. Not surprisingly, I’m of the mind that this would be a perfect opportunity to turn the airport into a permanent motorsport and testing facility. Of course it would take a fair bit of money to refurbish all that pavement, but how does this look for a long course?

The Motown Mile layout would be completely integrated into the three-mile-long track, with wide enough spaces on those runways to allow for those closely opposed, almost logarithmic, corner combinations. Pitlane would run along that back taxiway, with the paddock area unsurprisingly replacing the terminal, etc.

The best part is that while ordinarily the idea of putting a race track in the middle of a neighborhood would be a terrible idea, this is counteracted by the fact that the site was previously an airport, which is noisy enough as-is.

In any case, this is a neat thought-pattern. Anyone with a seven or eight or nine figure sum of money to spare?