The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented By Lear
Belle Isle Park
June 1-3, 2018
Senior Photographer: Charles Rush
Senior Writer: Kamilah McLeod
2018 Detroit Grand Prix
Presented By Lear
By Kamilah McLeod
Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear held June 1 - 3 on the beautiful Belle Isle State Park broke some impressive records. Grand Prix organizers estimated that the event attracted approximately 105,000 people to Belle Isle Park over the course of its three days – an increase from an estimated 100,000 attendees in 2017. This included over 27,000 fans on Comerica Bank Free Prix Day on Friday, June 1. For the second consecutive year, the Grand Prix established a new record estimated attendance total on Saturday of race weekend with approximately 48,000 fans visiting Belle Isle on Saturday, June 2. Both the Friday and Saturday totals represent a slight increase from the 2017 Grand Prix. Possibly due to the weather June 3, approximately 30,000 fans attended the Grand Prix, which was consistent with the same number of visitors for Sunday activities last year at the event. With the impressive turnout, it marked the sixth time in the last seven years that the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear surpassed the 95,000 fan mark in total attendance.
For the second consecutive year, the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Verizon Indy Car Series doubleheader weekend generated the highest weekend television viewership totals for any series race this season outside of the Indianapolis 500. The combined viewership for the two Chevy Dual in Detroit races televised live nationally on ABC - TV represented a total of 1.68 million viewers. While Saturday’s Indy Car race broadcast saw a dip in overnight Nielsen ratings, Sunday’s Dual in Detroit race saw a 13% increase to a .9 rating. Sunday’s race broadcast from Belle Isle ranked as the third - highest Indy Car race this season behind the Indy 500 and the season opener in St. Petersburg.
The local TV numbers were also impressive from the weekend. Both the Saturday and Sunday Indy Car race broadcast ratings in the Detroit market on WXYZ - TV were up significantly over 2017 with both telecasts ranking among the top three markets nationally. Social media terms for the event trended nationally on Twitter both on Saturday and Sunday. The Detroit races also generated the second - most stories and overall media coverage behind the Indy 500, so far in 2018. On its own social media channels, the Grand Prix established new record highs in 2018. During race weekend alone, the event set new benchmarks for total reach, overall mentions and users talking about the Grand Prix.
The racing results on the track at the Grand Prix were also memorable. Two former Verizon Indy Car Series champions and Indy 500 winners won the Chevy Dual in Detroit races with Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing taking the checkered flag on Saturday and Ryan Hunter - Reay celebrating in the Scott Fountain at the Autotrader.com Winner’s Circle on Sunday. Cadillac won in its home race as the Action Express Racing tandem of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr drove the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi to Victory Lane while the GTD class was won by Mario Farnbacher and Katherine Legge in the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3. In the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, Tony Buffomante won Saturday’s race in his No. 34 Mustang while TA2 leader Rafa Matos took home the victory in Sunday’s second race driving the No. 88 Chevy Camaro. In the SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Trucks, Gavin Harlien captured the first race of the weekend on Saturday
before Arie Luyendyk Jr. picked up his first Detroit win driving the Lear Corporation truck on Sunday.