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Race fans start your engines: You can be a Grand Prix winner at the North American International Auto Show

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Race fans picture this … you standing on the winner’s podium, holding the Grand Prix trophy above your head and clutching a bottle of champagne.

If you love fast cars and racing this is for you … and it’s all in Detroit and at the North American International Show.

imagesYou can check out the Grand Prix display and have your picture taken with the Grand Prix race trophy and that bottle of champagne … all while posing on a Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix podium.  Fans can download their podium image for free from the Grand Prix Facebook page.

In addition, some of the best race car drivers out there will at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 24 to participate in “Family Day” activities and to talk up this spring’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on May 30-June 1.

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

Montoya is returning to open-wheel racing and will make his first appearance for Team Penske at the show. Montoya, who is the only driver with wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and Formula One’s Grand Prix of Monaco, recently became a high-profile free agent.

Kimball, who began racing go-karts at age 9, won his first Indy Car Series in 2013 and finished ninth in the series championship.  He has also had the public eye fall on him for racing with diabetes and has been an inspiration to many. He is the first licensed driver with diabetes to win a race in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2007, he was forced to abandon his racing program mid-season. Hel returned to racing the following year and claimed a podium finish in his first race back in the car.

Belle-Isle-Aerial-View-grand-prixThe 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.

O’Connell and Pilgrim have won many championships over their long and distinguished careers and have been successful in Pirelli World Challenge Series action on Belle Isle.  This line of success in past seasons has made the Cadillac racing team favorites in this year’s Grand Prix in their CTS-Vs.

Napieralski, the owner and driver for Total Performance Racing, hails from Chelsea, MI, and will drive a Chevy Camaro when he once again competes close to home … on Belle Isle this year.

Besides attending the auto show the drivers will tour the Shinola watch factory in Midtown to get a look at the type of goods that come out of Detroit these days.  Shinola is a Grand Prix partner.

 

After the tour, they’ll head to NAIAS, where they will meet with the press at the Grand Prix display in Michigan Hall in Cobo Center.  The Grand Prix DW12 Indy car will be on display along with vehicles that will compete at this year’s Grand Prix. They include a SPEED Energy Stadium SUPER Truck and a unique Delta Wing car.  The Delta Wing car will be racing in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014.

This is a full day. Following the press conference the drivers will participate in a panel discussion on the Grand Prix in Cobo’s atrium followed by a Q&A with fans and an autograph session.  This is all part of WXYZ’s Family Day celebration.  A ticket is not needed to get to Cobo Hall’s atrium.

The North American International Auto Show continues through January 26.

For more information about the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, visit http://www.detroitgp.com/, on Facebook www.facebook.com/detroitgp and on Twitter www.twitter.com/detroitgp.

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