Belle Isle GP Announces Canadian Partnerships A prosperous relationship between two dynamic cities in neighboring countries is now expanding to include to the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, Canada – separated by the Detroit River and connected via tunnel and bridge – have teamed up for many successful recent events, including Super Bowl XL and the popular annual river fireworks celebrations. The two cities are natural Grand Prix partners considering that the roar of the races on Belle Isle can be heard on both shores of the river.
When the Detroit Grand Prix returns to the beautiful Raceway at Belle Isle Park road course for the first time in six years August 31-September 2, 2007, the event will carry a distinct international flavor. Highlighted by partnerships with three well-established Windsor entities, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix looks forward to promoting continued growth with its Canadian cousins. The City of Windsor, Canadian Club® and Casino Windsor have each extended their support across the river to help bring world-class auto racing back to the Motor City.
The City of Windsor’s commitment to this year’s Grand Prix includes sponsorship of the event’s official media center, to be housed in the historic Belle Isle Casino building, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2007. The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix International Media Center presented by the City of Windsor will feature representatives from Windsor working hand-in-hand with City of Detroit ambassadors. The two city contingents will welcome both the international and domestic media corps to the Grand Prix throughout the weekend while promoting the Detroit/Windsor area as a premier two-nation destination.
“The City of Windsor and its prominent corporations are eager to make the 2007 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix the best ever,” said Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis. “With the added sponsorship of Casino Windsor and Canadian Club, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix International Media Center presented by the City of Windsor and a Canadian section in the grandstands, the Grand Prix will truly be an international event and once again we will show the world what this great two-nation destination has to offer.”
Windsor is also celebrating the return of the Grand Prix by hosting the Go Kart Windsor Grand Prix throughout race weekend at Riverfront Plaza with several evening and media functions also planned during the course of race week. Mayor Francis and his wife, Dr. Michelle Prince, are also co-chairs of the Grand Prixmiere, the gala celebration benefiting the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Henry Ford Museum to be held Thursday, August 30 at the Henry Ford marking the start of race-week festivities. In addition, Windsor is coordinating a special travel package through Canada’s VIA Rail train system encouraging race fans from throughout Ontario to attend the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. This package includes train fare, lodging in Windsor, transit service and a race ticket in a dedicated Canadian section at the Grand Prix. For more information, please visit www.visitwindsor.com.
Canadian Club, whose historic Brand Center is located along the Detroit River and visible from Belle Isle, has also signed on as a sponsor of the Grand Prix. The 2.1-mile Belle Isle race course will feature Canadian Club signage in the shadows of the company’s impressive complex across the river. As the primary sponsor on the Andretti Green Racing car driven by 2007 Indianapolis 500 champion, current IndyCar Series points leader and 1999 Detroit Grand Prix winner Dario Franchitti, Canadian Club will also be featured in a number of promotions both prior to and during Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix race week. The Canadian Club street-legal, two-seater IndyCar will be bringing the company's drink smart® social responsibility platform to the Detroit/Windsor area over the next several weeks, including playing a prominent role at the popular Woodward Dream Cruise in August.
“Canadian Club is proud to partner with the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix," said Dennis Prado, Canadian Club senior director. "Windsor is the birthplace of Canadian Club and we are excited to be the Official Spirits Sponsor when racing returns to Belle Isle, just across the river from our historic Brand Center. We have many exciting activities planned in the Detroit and Windsor areas leading up to and during race week, and we look forward to an exciting weekend of racing.”
Casino Windsor, the exclusive gaming, entertainment and hotel resort in the city of Windsor, has also joined the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix’s family of supporters for 2007. A prominent and longtime fixture of the Windsor skyline from its location along the Detroit River, Casino Windsor will have signage on the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix circuit. In addition, Turn 7 on the race course will be known as the “Casino Windsor Turn” as the popular tourist destination enters into a partnership with one of Detroit’s signature summertime events.
“Casino Windsor is excited to participate in the revival of a wonderful racing tradition in our community with the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix,” said Kevin Laforet, President and CEO of Casino Windsor. "We're proud to be associated with this event and the great work of Roger Penske and his team, which will once again put the spotlight on our border communities and provide a thrilling weekend for sports fans. With our rebranding to Caesars Windsor in the Spring of 2008, we're looking forward to a continued partnership with this event and offering new entertainment opportunities in the Detroit-Windsor region."