Photo by: Chris Owens
Race weekend: Friday, June 2 – Sunday, June 4
Track: Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course (clockwise)
Race distance: 70 laps / 164.5 miles (both races)
Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. (for each race)
Firestone tire allotment: Eight sets primary, four sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one new set of primary and alternate tires in each race.
Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.DetroitGP.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com
2016 race winners: Race 1: Sebastien Bourdais (No. 11 Team Hydroxycut-KVSH Racing Chevrolet); Race 2: Will Power (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet)
2016 Verizon P1 Award winners: Race 1: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet) 1:14.9166, 112.926 mph; Race 2: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chevrolet), 1:14.0379, 114.266 mph.
Qualifying lap record: Simon Pagenaud, 1:14.0379, 114.266 mph, June 5, 2016
ABC race broadcasts: Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 (3:30 p.m. ET) Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ABC broadcasts alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.
Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Pit reporters are Dave Furst, Katie Hargitt and Michael Young, with Jake Query and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/indycar)
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features of the app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
Photo by: Bret Kelley
These races are always great races on at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course. Expect a lot pressure on the Team Penske drivers to win as this is Roger Penske’s home town.
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, June 2
10:20-11:05 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1
3:30-4:15 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2
4:20-4:35 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice
Saturday, June 3
10:05-10:35 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)
3:03 p.m. – Driver introductions
3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit 1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)
Sunday, June 5
10:45-11:15 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)
2:59 p.m. – Driver introductions
3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines
3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit 2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)
* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 22nd and 23rd Indy car races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 25th and 26th Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991.
* Helio Castroneves has won three times at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the most by an Indy car driver at the track. Castroneves won his first Indy car race at the track in 2000. He also won at Belle Isle in 2001 and Race 2 in 2014. Other previous Belle Isle winners entered include Tony Kanaan (2007), Scott Dixon (2012), Simon Pagenaud (2013, Race 2), Will Power (2014, Race 1, 2016, Race 2), Carlos Munoz (2015, Race 1).
* There have been 14 different pole winners in the previous 21 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Simon Pagenaud (2016 – both races), Will Power (2015, Race 1), Takuma Sato (2014, Race 2), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2007 and 2014, Race 1) and Scott Dixon (2008 and 2012).
* Three drivers have won the race from the pole: Scott Dixon (2012), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Robby Gordon (1995).
* The driver who has gone on to win the championship has won at Detroit four times. Will Power won Race 2 in 2014, Alex Zanardi won on Belle Isle in 1998, Bobby Rahal won at Belle Isle in 1992 and Emerson Fittipaldi won in downtown Detroit in 1989.
* Since 1995, seven drivers have won the seventh race of the season and also won the championship. They are: Dario Franchitti (2009, Iowa), Scott Dixon (2008, Texas, and 2003, Richmond), Sebastien Bourdais (2005, Edmonton), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006, Richmond), Cristiano da Matta (2002, Chicago), Greg Ray (1999, Dover), Kenny Brack (1998, Charlotte) and Tony Stewart (1997, Charlotte). Ten drivers have won the eighth race of the season and also won the championship. They are: Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose), Hornish (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony Kanaan (2004, Nashville), da Matta (2002, Toronto), Buddy Lazier (2000, Kentucky), Gil de Ferran (2000, Portland), Ray (1999, Pikes Peak), Alex Zanardi (1998, Detroit) and Brack (1998, Pikes Peak).
* Helio Castroneves has competed in 15 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Sixteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Castroneves 257, Simon Pagenaud 93, Scott Dixon 81, Will Power 47, Tony Kanaan 30, Marco Andretti 24, Takuma Sato 22, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, Conor Daly 16, Graham Rahal 11, James Hinchcliffe 10, Carlos Munoz 8, Mikhail Aleshin 3, Charlie Kimball 3, Alexander Rossi 1 and Oriol Servia 1.)
* Since 2012, the Verizon IndyCar Series has averaged 8.75 different race winners per season, including a record-tying 11 winners in 2014. There were eight different winners in the 16 races of 2016 with an equally tight competition projected for the 2017 season. There have been six different winners in the six race thus far this season: Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe
(Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber), Simon Pagenaud (Phoenix), Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix) and Takuma Sato (Indianapolis 500).
* The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the fifth and sixth races on a road/street course in 2017. The first four races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), James Hinchcliffe (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix).
* Scott Dixon’s Indianapolis 500 pole ended a streak that saw drivers from Team Penske earn pole positions in the previous five races in 2017. Will Power (St. Petersburg, Barber and INDYCAR Grand Prix) and Helio Castroneves (Long Beach and Phoenix) earned poles through qualifying.
* Rookie Ed Jones will race a Verizon IndyCar Series car at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park for the first time this weekend. Jones, the 2016 Indy Lights champion, has never competed at the circuit.
* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 273rd consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 213 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing should he start the race.
* Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 334th career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 333rd Indy car start, which is fifth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.
* Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 150 seconds during each race, with a maximum duration of 15 seconds for any one activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial race start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower for 2017.
CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet): “Belle Isle is always an exciting event for us at Team Penske being in Roger (Penske’s) and Chevrolet’s backyard. There are two races back-to-back in one weekend, which can be a serious physical challenge, but it’s one that the No. 1 DXC Technology Chevrolet team and I look forward to. Detroit is very special to me because it is the place I won my first Indy car race. To make it more special, we will be sporting a new livery with the unveiling of our new partner DXC Technology. I’m very excited to represent them and hopefully bring them to victory lane this weekend. We are ready to put on a great show for the fans in Detroit.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “The race at Detroit is a really unique event since there are two races in the one weekend. It’s definitely a challenge for teams and drivers, but I know the No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevrolet team is up to the task. We’ve learned some things at road and street courses this season that we think we can apply to the two races. We were hoping for a better Indianapolis 500 and didn’t really get what we were looking for after being involved in a wreck. The whole team has been working hard to get the car turned around for this weekend and we can’t wait to race.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet): “Detroit is a really cool race. The fans are great and full of enthusiasm. It’s our only doubleheader this season and is always a fun race weekend for the fans. It’s a unique track and it presents a challenge to teams due to the back-to-back nature of racing there. The No. 3 Hitachi Chevrolet team and I are ready for the weekend,
especially after finishing second in the Indianapolis 500. We feel we have built some great momentum so far this season and are ready to keep building on that.”
CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I love Detroit. It’s always where I get my best finish. I was second last year, and I want to win this year. This track is a lot of fun for me and having a doubleheader is great. Two races are always better than one! Should be fun!”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think the whole SPM team is looking forward to getting to Detroit. Obviously the month of May didn’t go the way that we had hoped, and luckily, we don’t have a lot of time to sit and dwell on it because we’re right back to work. Last year we had strong cars at Detroit even though the results didn’t show. So far this season we have had strong cars on street circuits, so I’m looking forward to getting our championship attack back on track.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “Now that the Indy 500 is over, we shift our focus to Detroit. It’s a tricky street course which is much different than spending the past three weeks on an oval. I’m looking forward to the challenging doubleheader weekend and hope we can have a great result for the Lucas Oil SPM crew.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “Detroit, with its tough surfaces and changing track conditions, really presents a unique challenge for all drivers. I wasn’t happy last year with how we performed. This time around, I think I’m better prepared, and we have some more experience under our belt for this type of weekend with multiple races coming at us quickly. I think we really have
some momentum and confidence coming off a career-best finish at Indy, and hope to ride that wave coming into the doubleheader this weekend.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 Camping World Honda): “It seems you can hardly take a breath after the Indianapolis 500, and you have to be squarely focused on Detroit. You put so much time and effort into Indianapolis, but you have to also keep your attention on the bigger picture in terms of the championship, and that continues right away in Detroit this weekend. Two races in two days and two
qualifiers in two days can really affect the championship race, and we’re hoping we can take advantage of the points on the table this weekend.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “This turnaround between Indy and Detroit is so tight, but going straight to Belle Isle from the month of May is such a great transition from an amazing oval to one of the best street courses on the INDYCAR circuit for a doubleheader. I think our fifth-place run at the Indianapolis 500 has given us a lot of momentum heading into this weekend with two races up for grabs, and I’m feeling really good about our chances. The No. 10 NTT Data Honda has been strong all season, and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting our first win of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “I really like racing at Detroit. Last year we didn’t have a great result in the first race, but we won the second. It really helped us figure out a couple of things which led to more wins later that season. The No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet has been strong this season, and we’re ready to continue to build on that strength at Belle Isle. The speeds we have been able to show at other street courses have been phenomenal, and the car setups have also been awesome. We’re ready to see what we can do there.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “Moving on from Indy to road courses makes for a really challenging week, because everyone is really tired — the mechanics, engineers and the drivers. And Detroit is a two-race event which makes it tough. Still, Detroit is where we’ve had a lot of success. We’ve qualified good, run good and I got my first win there in 2015. They’ve
ground down the bumps on the backstretch, which will be nicer, but it’s still a challenging track. I’m looking forward to it.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Soldier Strong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda): “We had a decent race going for both of the races last year. After finishing fourth in the first one, unfortunately, the brake line came loose before the start of the second one. We started based on points and had a good starting position and had a good car, actually, but went to the back because of the brake line and had to
recover from that. Overall, I feel like we should be very competitive going back. We had podium finishes in 2014 and 2015, so hopefully, we can get it done and get more trophies. It hasn’t always come easy to us there, but it’s one of those tracks that a lot can happen in the races there. You get a lot of variation between good qualifying cars and good race cars. A lot of good guys can beat
up the tires there. Hopefully, we can go out there, have a good, consistent car, wear them down and get good results for United Rentals and SoldierStrong.” (About the physicality of a doubleheader:) “Everyone is tired. Saturday night is a brutal night. You’ve just done one race and you have to get in shape and get hydrated to go do the second. No matter whether you are big or small, it’s a physical race that beats you up. There are a lot of bumps, bruises and blood. It’s going to be another one of those weekends. You expect it and anticipate it. It’s kind of nice to get to the street course in Detroit after being at Indy and on the oval for so long. It’s a great way to get a reset and do it immediately vs. waiting any set period of time before going racing again. Particularly if Indy doesn’t go your way, it’s a good way to be able to move on pretty quick. The American red, white, and blue United Rentals Turns for Troops car is one of my favorite liveries. It’s beautiful and pulls at everyone’s heart strings. With the laps completed program and shirts we have for sale, it’s a great cause. I’m proud to be part of it and excited to see the car on track again. It’s really bringing light to an important situation and I’m happy to help raise money.”
ORIOL SERVIA (No. 16 Fifth Third Bank Honda): “I got my first Indy car podium in my rookie year at Detroit, and since then, I have finished in the top-six each time I raced there, so I hope to continue that at the two races this weekend and get a good result for Fifth Third Bank in their first time as a primary sponsor on an Indy car. Hopefully, we get a little revenge from this past weekend in Indy. I thought we had a great run and would at least challenge for the win and be a top-three car, for sure, but we couldn’t finish that way. This weekend we have two chances to get that revenge, and hopefully, we get two podiums – one of which is a win, at least, which is what I feel the whole team deserves. We’re going to work hard. It’s a short weekend with only one day of practice, so hopefully it stays dry so I can get as many miles as possible. I have been preparing for the physical aspect of a street race, which I didn’t the past two times I raced on a road or street course because I didn’t have a lot of notice. I had a lot of notice for this race and I worked hard to be in very good shape, but at the end of the day, any Indy car street race is tough, and this will be two, so I’m sure I will be pretty beat up, but I hope I am just a little less beat up than the others. I remember a couple of things about my first podium (at Detroit 2000). First of all, I remember it was a great race and that I was very happy because it was my first podium. But I remember more about the people I was with at the podium. Finishing second was Max Papis, who looked me in the eye and said ‘Oriol, you got your first podium very early in your Indy car career and you think they are going to come easy, but it’s not that easy.’ And he was right, it’s tough. And also it was Helio’s first win and the first time he climbed the fence, so I witnessed his first act as Spiderman. That was something for the history books.”
ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “It’s been a busy few weeks, so it will be nice to get back to a more normal schedule and to be able to focus on a street course. We’ve done well on the first couple of street courses this year, so we hope to continue that and score some important points. I think it may be a tough weekend physically, especially considering that we didn’t get a lot of time to train over the last few weeks, but I’m confident we can do well.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “Last year, Detroit was my first race with Ed Carpenter Racing, so it will be nice to get back to a track we’ve raced at together. I enjoy the challenges of Belle Isle, and I’m excited to race there again. It’s going to be a tough weekend with two races coming off a busy month of May, but I know the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew is up for it.”
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I am really looking forward to getting back to Detroit. I haven’t raced at Belle Isle since 2012 and never in the doubleheader. I’ve always enjoyed the city and the whole vibe up there. It’s also the home race for Chevrolet, so we’re looking to get a good result for them in both races in the Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevy.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “Detroit will be completely different from the Indy 500. It’s going back to a street course – very bumpy track, a lot of braking and tight corners. Usually Detroit is a very exciting track and quite challenging. I personally have a good memory (finishing second in the second Belle Isle race in 2015) as well as the team has a strong record, so
I’m looking forward to going back to the street course.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Magneti Marelli Honda): “We need to play catch-up a bit in the championship and make points count where we can, and we are still very focused on getting a race win. With
Detroit being a doubleheader, we’re looking forward to capitalizing on an opportunity for double points.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “Hopefully we can finally turn our luck around in Detroit. I’ve always enjoyed racing at Belle Isle and following our podium at this event last year, we have every reason to be optimistic for the doubleheader.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “Going directly from a long month in Indianapolis to the physically demanding street course on Belle Isle is always a challenge. And of course, we take on the circuit twice, back-to-back. But I think it showcases the strength and versatility of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ teams and drivers. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has had some
success in Detroit in the past, so we’ll see if we can build on that. It would be an understatement to say we’ve had a rough season so far, so we’ll keep putting in the work to turn it around this weekend.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 Andretti Autosport/Curb Honda): “Coming off a strong but disappointing race at Indianapolis, I am very excited and motivated to get back in the car here in just a couple of days. We have the pace to win races, and we just need to focus on having complete weekends.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar