Grand Prix drivers participate in “family day” at the NAIAS

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IndyCar Series and Pirelli World Challenge Series star drivers will be in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 24 to promote this summer’s Grand Prix and to meet with fans at the NAIAS.

DETROIT, Mich. – Some of the top race car drivers in the world will visit the Motor City next week to participate in “Family Day” activities at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

IndyCar Series and Pirelli World Challenge Series star drivers will be in Detroit on Friday, Jan. 24 to promote this summer’s Grand Prix, which will take place May 30-June 1, and to meet with fans at the NAIAS.

Juan Pablo Montoya tests the Team Penske Chevrolet
Juan Pablo Montoya tests the Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: John Hendrick

Chevrolet IndyCar drivers Juan Pablo Montoya from Team Penske and Charlie Kimball from Chip Ganassi Racing will appear in Detroit along with Cadillac Racing World Challenge Series drivers Johnny O’Connell and Andy Pilgrim. In addition, Michigan driver Todd Napieralski, who also competes in the World Challenge Series, will also participate in the day’s activities.

Making his return to open-wheel racing this season after a winning career in Formula One and NASCAR, Montoya will make his first public appearance for Team Penske when he visits Detroit next Friday. The return of the former CART Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner to IndyCar is expected to be one of the most interesting storylines in racing in 2014.

Kimball is coming off a strong 2013 season that saw him win his first IndyCar Series race (Mid-Ohio) and finish ninth in the series championship. Reaching the highest level of American open-wheel racing while competing with Diabetes, Kimball has also been an inspiration to many in his young career.

Two of the most accomplished road course racers competing today, both O’Connell and Pilgrim have won dozens of races and numerous championships in their distinguished careers. The two Cadillac Racing teammates have been very successful in Pirelli World Challenge Series action on Belle Isle over the past few seasons and they will once again be among the favorites when they return to the Grand Prix this summer to race in their CTS-Vs. A native of Chelsea, Mich., Napieralski is owner and driver for Total Performance Racing and he will also compete again on Belle Isle this year driving a Chevy Camaro at his “home” track.

2013 champion Johnny O'Connell, with teammate Andy Pilgrim
2013 champion Johnny O'Connell, with teammate Andy Pilgrim

Photo by: General Motors

On the morning of Jan. 24, the drivers will get a chance to tour the headquarters and watch factory of Grand Prix partner, Shinola, to witness how American watches and other goods are manufactured in Midtown Detroit

Then the drivers will visit the NAIAS where they will meet with the media at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix display, located in Cobo Center’s Michigan Hall. The display features the Grand Prix DW12 IndyCar, along with two new vehicles that will compete on track at this year’s Grand Prix – a SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Truck and a unique Delta Wing car that will race in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.

Visitors to the display will also have a chance to take a picture on a Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix “podium,” posing with an actual race trophy and a bottle of champagne. Fans can download their podium image for free from the Grand Prix Facebook page.

All of the drivers will then participate in a panel discussion on the Grand Prix, hosted on the main stage in the new Cobo Center Atrium as part of the WXYZ-TV Family Day celebration at the NAIAS. The discussion will be followed by an autograph session and Q&A on the stage for fans with all of the drivers. Fans do not need a ticket to the show to access the Cobo Center Atrium area.

The 2014 North American International Auto Show continues through Sunday, Jan. 26 and fans are encouraged to visit the Grand Prix display to experience the sights and sounds of race weekend.

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix

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About this article
Series INDYCAR , PWC
Article type Breaking news
Tags andy pilgrim, charlie kimball, indycar, johnny o’connell, juan pablo montoya, scca-wc