Detroit welcomes Grand Prix back

Turbocharged IndyCars will return to Detroit. Note to IndyCar: This 2001 turbocharged Champ Car is a proper looking IndyCar, not that hideous looking thing Dallara rolled out for next year. One step forward, two steps back.

Officials are waving a green flag for the Detroit Grand Prix next summer on Belle Isle. The return is expected to be formalized during a press event at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday involving Mayor Dave Bing and others.

Last month, the City Council approved a request from racing officials, clearing one of the first hurdles in bringing the race back to Belle Isle on June 1-3.

The SPEED channel said the race is scheduled June 3.

"I am thrilled that this event is returning to Detroit and Belle Isle," Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. It has significant impact, brings people to the city, and it's a source of pride for everyone in Detroit."

IndyCar races were held on Belle Isle from 1990-2001 and again in 2007 and 2008. The city also hosted Formula One races downtown in the 1980s.

Roger Penske, the Bloomfield Hills owner of auto racing team Penske Racing, has made no secret of his desire to bring back auto racing to the city. An attempt to do so in 2010 failed, and fans are excited the tradition will return.

"It belongs in Detroit," said Aaron Mayes, 44, who lives on Detroit's east side. "This is the Motor City."

Mark Reuss, president of GM North America; Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR; and Penske are expected to attend Wednesday's news conference in the Ambassador Ballroom at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.

Some Metro Detroiters see the return of the race as a positive sign. The poor economy forced the withdrawal of several major sporting events. In 2009, General Motors pulled its sponsorship of the Buick Open at the Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club, ending the 50-year tournament.

"It shows how much the city is slowly coming back and that a lot of people want to do business in Detroit," said Ben Dascal, 34, of Dearborn. Detroit News

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