Open wheeled racing is nothing new to the motor city. Between 1982 and 1988 Detroit hosted a race on the Formula 1 circuit. The Detroit Grand Prix, in its early existence, saw the likes of “the professor” Alain Prost and the legendary Ayrton Senna take victories here on the streets of downtown Detroit. Formula 1 was replaced by the CART series in 1989 and after a few more years moved to Belle Isle. An island between Detroit and Canada, Belle Isle has been the home of the Detroit Grand Prix since 1992. In its current form the Detroit Grand Prix has been successful thanks to businessman and race owner Roger Penske who’s always been a strong and vocal advocate for the race.
Over the last few years I’ve been able to enjoy motorsports and work on my motorsports photography in various capacities. I started off taking pictures from spectator spots such as grandstands and other breaks in the fence. This year while shooting for Spekture I was able to get up close and personal with the cars as well as some of the drivers.
The Duel in Detroit, the main two races of the three-day weekend are the Indy doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. Both of the 70 lap races count for points in the Indycar championship. So even if a driver falls short on Saturday, there is always the chance for redemption on Sunday. This year Graham Rahal made history as the first driver to win both races during the weekend and the first American to win in Detroit since Michael Andretti won in 1996. While the races of the Verizon Indycar Series are the main attraction for some spectators at Belle Isle, the IMSA WeatherTech championship, Trans Am, and Super Truck series keep the crowds entertained throughout the weekend. This year the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship also saw history in the making, as Acura recorded their first victory in the GT Daytona class (GTD) with Andy Lally and Katherine Legge.