8 Reasons To Start Your Summer with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix! (CLOSED – Plus a Giveaway!)

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is a weekend full of excitement between the four major racing series that are covered in this short time. Of course, some people might not know that the event is actually a complete international festival held on Detroit’s own Belle Isle Park with a range of enticing activities for the family!  Let’s start it off with number eight…

8. The Meijer Fan Zone

Meijer returns as a partner in 2015 to deliver one of the greatest recreational areas in all of Motorsports! The premises will have a plethora of fun activities, cool displays and enticing entertainment for fans of all ages throughout the weekend.  If you’re a huge car enthusiast, (which you should be, given the event!) displays from Chevy Racing and Autopalooza will have a range of unique motor vehicles from cruising or racing. The Detroit professional sports teams will have displays and some of the top Detroit sports legends will also be appearing and signing autographs. Surely you’ll want to get some face paint and show off your glamorous side, or maybe enjoy the simple pleasures of balloon art as you take advantage of the craft areas.  The Meijer Fan Zone is a key element that makes the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix feel less like a few races, and more of a holiday celebrating the jewel that is Belle Isle Park.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

7. The Leinenkugel Biergarten

It’s hard to start your summer without considering refreshments… much less that picturesque condensation dripping off an ice cold bottle of your favorite drink.  Don’t worry, The Grand Prix team partnered up with Leinenkugel to give our 21 and over fans what they deserve: The Leinenkugel Biergarten (and yes that is “beer garden”).  Strategically placed between the Meijer Fan Zone, FirstMerit Bank Bridge and a relevant first-aid center, you won’t have issues finding something to quench your thirst or satiate your hunger.

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

Photo courtesy of Jim Tocco Photography

6. Pirelli World Challenge Series

One of the four major racing series held at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is the Pirelli World Challenge Series.  The goal of this series is to gather a host of manufacturers, teams, and aftermarket suppliers to show off what’s under the hood.  Enjoy these beautiful, powerful metal stallions on the road.  Where else can you go to see a Bentley and a Ford racing alongside a Ferrari and a Honda? Better yet, there will be two races…with one on Saturday and one on Sunday so you can’t make up excuses to miss out.  Go to World-Challenge.com to check out the different classes, and get more information on the series!

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

Photo courtesy of Cadillac Racing

5. Concerts

On a race track one can expect the powerful roar of an engine, the enticing squeal of tires on pavement and the fizzes and hums of the vehicles bolting by.  What you probably don’t expect is for some truly epic musical entertainment.  The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is taking it to the next level as the MotorCity Casino Hotel Entertainment Stage will rock Saturday night with 3 Doors Down and Sunday with Smash Mouth. Top local bands will also perform during the course of the weekend as well. Check out the full lineup of entertainment at DetroitGP.com.

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

Photo courtesy of Smash Mouth

4. SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS

Legend speaks of magical flying crafts, soaring through the air in constant battle with each other, in the shape of human trucks.  Okay so maybe that’s just slightly over the top, but not by much. Enter SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS. The idea here is to take a select group of high-class drivers and  put them in some super powered trucks to race. My guess is that one of them figured, “hey why not add some massive jumps to send us a solid two stories high?” This event is something you have to see to believe!

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

Photo courtesy of Rock Media Photography

3. TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

Last year, two major races decided to get together and spawn one coolest racing series on the planet.  Again things can be a bit confusing with the four different classes driving alongside each other at the same time, but understand that these drivers are world-class.  Some of the best on the planet, right here in your back yard. A few of the races in this series go for 12 and even 24 hours straight!  Can you believe that? But Detroit is a  bustling city, so we decided to give the crowd a couple of super intensive, shorter races instead. Don’t miss it! Check out IMSA.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

2. Autograph Session

Muster up some courage and get an autograph from your favorite driver! Throughout the weekend, there will be occasions where drivers from each series will come out and relax to hang, shoot the breeze, and sign some goodies.  Not often do opportunities come by where professional athletes take the time to get to know their admirers, so be sure to take advantage of the autograph sessions.  This is a true, “for the fans” moment and selfies are not frowned upon.

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Photography

1. Verizon IndyCar Series

So you come to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, and you have that craving.  You’re not really sure what it is… You already stopped by The Leinenkugel Biergarten so your stomach is satisfied.  You heard some awesome performances by some legendary musicians, so you have a good vibe. But something is missing. Here at the Grand Prix, we cater to every need. We will personally deliver two heaping portions of pure, unadulterated, furious speed. The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans is back, and it’s going to be exactly what you waited for. Experienced IndyCar fans know that this is some of the fastest, most intense racing in the world with IndyCar legends and can be a lot to handle. But I say indulge. Dig in. It’s race time. Shoot over to indycar.com to keep up with your favorite IndyCar racer or receive all other relevant IndyCar needs.


Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

Photo courtesy of LAT Photography

GIVEAWAY: Do you want to score a pair of tickets to this year’s Grand Prix? Simply tell us what events you would attend by commenting below!  We’ll then select two lucky winners at random to win a pair of tickets to the race. To be eligible, simply submit your comments (along with your email address) by Thursday, May 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST. We’ll contact the winners Friday morning using the email address provided (we won’t share it or sell it to anybody).

UPDATE: This contest has ended and the winners have been contacted via email. Thank you to all those who participated!

Profile Picture - Tyler HTyler Hoornstra, 23, is currently a public relations intern for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. He graduated in 2014 from Michigan State University and James Madison College.

Things To Do While In Detroit For The Grand Prix

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is just a week away! If you’re coming to town and looking for things to do in the area outside of the race, check out the post below from Dan Fuoco of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Think about it: The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is in town the weekend of May 31 – June 2 and your attendance is already secure. Even though the event is amazing, you find yourself between races thinking: I’m here. Now what?

That’s where you refer to the Pure Michigan Blog to direct your Detroit experience. I’ve created a list of things to do, events to attend and special experiences you can only take advantage of while in The D.

Foursquare Motor City Badge

If you’re active on Foursquare, you might want to take advantage of the Motor City Badge. All you have to do to obtain this badge is *like* foursquare Cities on Foursquare and then check-in to five (5) venues on a yet-to-be-posted recommended venue list (more than likely the most popular and obvious venues in the city). Some suggestions are:

  • Renassiance Center
  • The RiverWalk
  • Hart Plaza
  • Greektown Casino-Hotel
  • MotorCity Casino-Hotel
  • MGM Grand Casino-Hotel
  • Campus Martius
  • The People Mover
  • Detroit Institute of Art
  • Detroit Historical Museum
  • Detroit Library
  • Fischer Theatre
  • The Detroit Opera House
  • Detroit Zoo


Good Times on Tap

Michigan’s beer scene is bursting at the seams as a recent poll named Grand Rapids BeerCity USA for the second consecutive year. Even better, of the top four cities in the running for the prestigious recognition, three were Michigan cities (Kalamazoo and Ann Arbor being the other two). Microbrews are popping up everywhere and Detroit is no exception. New or old, you won’t be disappointed with these two lists of top drink destinations, including this feature: Detroit 10: Beer and Bars. Need more variety? See our larger list: Detroit’s Top 20 Sports Bars… and More Scores.

“Old” is the New “New”

The newest and hottest restaurant in metro Detroit is actually a converted old mechanic’s shop. The Vinsetta Garage boasts a menu full of exciting tastes, all part of the 1970’s mechanic themed experience.

Mama Mia!

Mario Andretti would have made a pit stop at one of Detroit’s Best Italian Restaurants. Roma Café, Detroit’s oldest Italian restaurant, is a legend of its own. From ravioli to lasagna to pasta, there is a reason Roma Café and the other establishments made our Italian-lovers list.

Paris of the Midwest

Detroit has often been referred to as the Paris of the Midwest for its array of street side eating which reflects many dining options in Paris, France and outlying cities. With warm temperatures and bustling scenery, why waste a dining experience indoors?


Ride The D

Cover more ground on two wheels… Bike it Baby! See the city via bicycle for a chance to absorb more sights. Explore gems like Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut, the Riverwalk and the city all in one tour! These landmarks, normally too far to indulge by foot, are a mere minutes from each other by bike.

The Life of Detroit’s Auto Barons

If it’s cars you like, then you’ve come to the right place. The Motor City offers a wealth of car knowledge from its car museums (GM Heritage Center and Walter P. Chrysler Museum) to an inside look of the auto baron homes like the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tour or the Meadow Brook Mansion tour (home of the Dodge family).

Not enough? How about an itinerary made specifically for the car-lover? You’re welcome.


Enter Stage Right

If you’re in to drama, comedy, or musicals, look no further than a city that has 13,000 theater seats – enough for you and a friend and some others! Sit back in a plush theater seat fit for a king while you watch a favorite performance in our theater district. Each theater has a slightly different taste that appeals to the different audiences and shows.

It’s All Greek To Me

One of Detroit’s most happening neighborhoods has to be Greektown. With a casino, plenty of Greek and American restaurants, a sweet pastry shop, and spa-tacular retreats, it’s virtually impossible to skip this area. Traditional Greek music fills the air as you walk down the main corridor and embody a new culture. This is one adventure you won’t want to skip.

Batter Up!

If there is one thing people will travel for, it’s a chance to witness the 2012 AL Champion Detroit Tigers at home plate. The team brings their A-game every night and with a batting line-up that includes Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, you’ll want to sit near the outfield for a chance to snatch a home run ball.

Of course, sitting behind home plate as a Justin Verlander fastball screams over the plate isn’t such a bad way to view the game, either.

Things To Do

Family-Friendly Atmosphere

The Grand Prix has a wonderful family-friendly component to the weekend and we thought we should extend the gesture and give you an idea of 8 Family-Friendly Detroit Activities.

Or you can turn the experience into a game and attempt to complete all 28 Things To Do Before Your Kids Grow Up.

Musically Inclined

The Motown Sound refers to a beat untouchable by new artists. Although he wasn’t singing with Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder or The Temptations, another Detroit native has made learning music culture his mission as part of the Detroit Historical Museum’s Kid Rock Music Lab. This hands-on interaction offers individuals the ability to make music and learn basic beats.

The Heart of Art

Museum-lovers will marvel in the exquisitely curated Detroit Institute of Arts as soon as they enter the grand entrance. One of the top art museums in the nation, the Detroit Institute of Art offers has multiple eras of history and art all in one location.

Belle Isle Nature Zoo (open during Grand Prix) is the perfect fun destination for the entire family, community or school group. Enjoy the native plants and animals found in Michigan and feed the deer. Rent space for a variety of events at reasonable rates.

Racing Events

2013 Grand Prixmiere: The Can’t Miss Event of the Summer at the Belle Isle Convervancy. The 2013 Grand Prixmiere will be the toast-of-Detroit at DTE Energy’s Town Square celebrating the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The evening, hosted by the Belle Isle Conservancy, will welcome an eclectic crowd of Grand Prix drivers, racing officials and team owners alongside the A-listers of Metro Detroit and across the country. All proceeds support Belle Isle Conservancy’s mission to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the natural environment, historic structures and unique character of Belle Isle as a public park for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.

Quicken Loans Grand Prix Fest Powered by Chevrolet is a free event. The beautiful Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square area in vibrant downtown Detroit will come alive with the sights and sounds of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Wednesday, May 29 to start the region’s race week engines.

The Street Fest will feature a sampling of the activities and excitement that will be present all weekend long at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 31-June 2. Drivers and cars from all three racing series competing at the Grand Prix – the IZOD IndyCar Series, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Pirelli World Challenge Series – will be represented at the festival, located near the headquarters of Quicken Loans and many other downtown Detroit businesses. Pit stop demonstrations, autograph sessions and Q&A sessions with some of the sport’s best drivers will be featured along with food trucks, Grand Prix and race team merchandise, as well as interactive and special vehicle displays.

Enjoy deals through the Detroit Grand Prix VIP Package at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. It’s time to rev up those engines with the Detroit Grand Prix VIP Package! Rest up in the luxurious guest rooms at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center before spending the next day in the middle of all the excitement. Experience the thrills of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix with the exclusive chance to see all of the cars and drivers close up in the Paddock. Book now and be a part of the action! Detroit Grand Prix VIP Package includes: *Overnight accommodations for two at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center *2 one-day passes to the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, with exclusive Paddock Passes *Breakfast for two at the hotel 24 hour cancellation policy. Grand Prix tickets with Paddock passes are valid on the day of hotel check-out. For more information visit www.DetroitGP.com.

Dan Fuoco is the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (VisitDetroit) and is responsible for building and engaging with VisitDetroit’s social media and blog communities.  You can find him geeking out over: social media infographics, muscle cars and Detroit. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and periodically on Pinterest.