Detroit GP news 2008-08-27

STANLEY CUP CHAMPION KRIS DRAPER OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS NAMED DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX GRAND MARSHAL DETROIT, Mich. (August 27, 2008) -- The Motor City loves its sports heroes and the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has selected one of the city's...

STANLEY CUP CHAMPION KRIS DRAPER OF THE DETROIT RED WINGS NAMED DETROIT INDY GRAND PRIX GRAND MARSHAL

DETROIT, Mich. (August 27, 2008) -- The Motor City loves its sports heroes and the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix has selected one of the city's most recent champions to serve as Grand Marshal of Sunday's Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone.

Detroit Red Wings center Kris Draper, who won his fourth Stanley Cup in June as the Red Wings once again claimed the NHL Championship, will serve as the official Grand Marshal of the IndyCar Series event at The Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

As part of his duties, Draper will give the traditional command of "Drivers, Start Your Engines" to the 26 star racers of the IndyCar Series before the start of the Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone at 3:45 p.m. ET Sunday afternoon. He'll also ride in the E85 Corvette pace car to lead the driver's parade during pre-race festivities. One of the most popular Red Wings on and off the ice, Draper will also be on hand after the race to celebrate in Victory Circle.

"I'm really looking forward to this weekend and serving as Grand Marshal for the Detroit Indy Grand Prix," said Draper. "I'm a big race fan and it's going to be awesome to be a part of the event. This will be a great way to end what's been a memorable summer before we head back to work on the ice in September."

Another champion will also play a significant role on Saturday for the American Le Mans Series race on Belle Isle. Two-time Indianapolis 500 champion and two-time Detroit Grand Prix winner Emerson Fittipaldi will drive the Corvette Z06 E85 Concept pace car in the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, which will take the green flag at 2:35 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. Since his retirement from racing, Fittipaldi has become a full-time ethanol refiner in his native Brazil.

The champions will certainly be out in full force this weekend at the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

About the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is organized and promoted by a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, whose chairman is Roger Penske. A special charitable organization has been established that enables all net proceeds raised by the Grand Prix to fund measures for the improvement and preservation of Belle Isle. Once again featuring the IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series -- along with the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT Championship, new for 2008 -- the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will be held Labor Day weekend, August 29-31, 2008. To learn more about the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, please visit www.detroitgp.com.

-credit: dgp

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Emerson Fittipaldi