General Motors brings Chevrolet back to IndyCar

The all new 2012 Chevrolet IndyCar. New Detroit Grand Prix logo in background.

The all new 2012 Chevrolet IndyCar. New Detroit Grand Prix logo in background.

It’s been a while, but the golden bowtie is back to open wheel racing. General Motors unveiled the new Chevrolet addition to the IZOD IndyCar lineup for the 2012 season along with the drivers who’ll be racing for the team. In addition to the big GM news, relating it all was the announcement that IndyCar is coming back to Detroit to race on the picturesque Belle Isle circuit. The very first Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will take place between June 1st and 3rd, 2012. Automotive Section Editor Kanishka Sonnadara follows the press conference and provides us with a minute by minute break down of what happened.

October 12th, 2011 – Live from GM Head Offices,Detroit,MI

10:37- An introduction of the VIPs present here today

10:38- Even the Mayor of Windsor, ON is present

10:41- Roll call on who’s present is still going on

10:41- President, GM North America, Mark Reuss takes the stage

10:42- “Righting wrongs of the past, bringing back racing” Reuss, is formal about having Chevrolet rejoin the ranks of open wheel racing

10:43- Chevrolet returns to IndyCar in 2012 with new GM developed Chevrolet badged engine. It’s a V6 with twin-turbochargers putting out 550-700 hp

10:45- VIDEO: Will Power racing the new car

10:46- New car unveiled, sleek new body style, white and blue with a big golden Chevrolet badge on side

10:47- New Chevrolet IndyCars by Ilmor Engineering with Penske as a part-owner

10:48- Reuss confirms multi-year (we later find out its 3 years confirmed for now) agreement signed to bring open wheel racing back toDetroitnext year

10:48- First Detroit race will be at Belle Isle, June 1st, 2012

10:49- Belle Isle will host its first Grand Am road race weekend. Along with IndyCar, also present will be: GRAND-AM Rolex Series (doing the Chevrolet Detroit Sports Car Challenge), Pirelli World Challenge (doing the Cadillac V-Series Challenge), and Firestone Indy Light Series

Belle Isle park, Detroit, MI

10:50- Reuss thanks Penske for investing in improving Belle Isle infrastructure, making it all possible. Penske spent 6 million in ’07-’08 for upgrades, will be spending a little more to prepare for the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

10:51- “Detroitis back in IndyCar, Chevrolet is back in racing”

Worth Noting: The Belle Isle track is 2.1 miles (3.4 km) long and it was a favourite place to smuggle booze into America(from Canada across the river) during prohibition. Thanks to Scott Burgess of The Detroit News for this tidbit

10:51- Roger Penske on stage

10:52- Talking about the importance of bringing racing back to Motor City

10:56- Thanking Detroit local Crain Communications for support of racing in the city. The race is named with a shout out to Crain’s newest venture Chevrolet Indy Grand Prix presented by

10:58- New Team Chevrolet-Penske driver Hélio Castroneves comes up

10:59- Talking about difference between Indianapolis Raceway and Belle Isle Course – Oval vs. Road Course. Excited to about taking the new car out, rubs hands with a big smile about how fast this new car promises to be

11:00- Will Power comes up for a few words and thoughts on driving the new car

11:01- Power is first pro-driver to take the new car out

11:01- Says it’s a pleasure to drive the new car, notes that there’s more power to come from the engine

11:02- Looking forward to turbo engines, hearing turbos spool up pulling out of the pits are a pleasure he says

11:03- Randy Bernard, CEO of IndyCar takes the stage. “That logo looks beautiful on that car, we’re glad to have it” are the first words out of his mouth

11:04- Wants IndyCar to be known as the fastest, most versatile series in the world

11:05- Talks about how he put together a team of 7 racing experts to create a new strategy for 2012. Lighter cars, entirely new engines, revised rules, Team Icon – his name for the 7 responsible for the 2012 strategy – did all this, he says. Read Kanishka Sonnadara’s 2012 IndyCar introduction here

11:06- Dave Bing, Mayor of Detroit takes the stage

11:06- Thanking GM for keeping their global Head Offices in Detroit even when people were talking of moving out

11:08- Talks a little bit about this season’s successes of 3 mainDetroitsports teams: Tigers (Baseball), Lions (Football), Red Wings (Hockey)

11:09- The feel of his speech is very much about the revitalisation, reinvigoration, rebirth of Detroit

11:11- End of presentation. Applause, music, press Q&A begins

Photographs courtesy of Chevrolet

Follow Kanishka Sonnadara on Twitter by clicking here for more live event coverage and other automotive talk

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