Detroit Grand Prix Returns to the Streets for 2024

Minor changes in grandstands, tailgating possibilities enhance the viewing experience with three racing series in action May 31-June 2, 2024.
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Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Grand Prix 

Graham Rahal’s treadmill workout on a recent afternoon may have been at his racing team’s Indianapolis shop, but his eyes were on Detroit. His legs churned and his head bobbed before a TV screen showing a replay of past IndyCar competition in the Motor City, where the veteran driver, now 35 years old, achieved some of his greatest glory by winning back-to-back races on the same weekend in 2017.

With last year’s move off Belle Isle to a downtown street circuit, the format for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear changed from a double-header to a single race for the NTT IndyCar Series cars. When the green flag falls at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 2, an expected 27 drivers will undertake 100 laps on the fast and technical 1.7-mile, 9-turn course. Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing is the defending champion.

“Detroit for me, it’s just great memories,” Rahal told Hour Detroit as he wrapped up the workout. “I have a lot of love for the city. I know we’re downtown now, and it’s really cool to be (racing) around the RenCen, but Belle Isle had a special place in my heart.”

The IndyCar Series will be supported by the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and the Indy NXT driver-development series, both of which will hold practice sessions on Friday, May 31. More practices and qualifying sessions for all three series will occur Saturday, June 1.

The IMSA race starts at 3:10 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and lasts for 1 hour and 40 minutes, a nice fit for its television window.  Indy NXT takes the green at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday for a 45-lap or 55-minute dash – whichever comes first — on Sunday.

In the IndyCar Series, Detroit will see the return of Team Penske president Tim Cindric and three other team members whom owner Roger Penske suspended for the Indianapolis 500 after a cheating scandal stemming from software irregularities in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Penske Entertainment owns the NTT IndyCar Series. Penske Performance owns Team Penske.

“This is an unfortunate situation, and when you’re the leader, you have to take action,” Penske told the Associated Press on May 7. “We’ve done that and we’re going to move on. I am not trying to run a popularity contest.”

Some changes and amenities are new for the 2024 Detroit Grand Prix.

Tailgating is available in the Franklin St. garage. Tickets give assigned parking in the structure, affording good views of the action below on track and in pit lane. Tailgating ticket holders also get access to general-admission rooftop viewing locations.

Besides the Franklin St. garage, general-admission rooftop viewing areas are at Center Garage on Renaissance Drive West and Port Atwater garage on Beaubien Blvd. All garage rooftop areas will include large screens for all the track action and food and beverage options for purchase.

Changes to the grandstands add more seating in Grandstand 3B and replace Grandstand 3C with the new Turn 3 Club. Grandstands 8A and 8B are now combined into a single Grandstand 8.

Comerica Bank Free Prix Day on Friday provides free general admission seating in Grandstands 1 and 9 on a first-come, first-seated basis.

Learn more about the 2024 Detroit Grand Prix at detroitgp.com, and for details on other Metro Detroit events and community news, visit hourdetroit.com