Chevrolet brings world-class racing to its own backyard. The Verizon IndyCar Chevrolet Dual in Detroit is held on Belle Isle, a beautiful island park in the Detroit River. In the background is the Renaissance Center, global headquarters for Chevrolet and General Motors. For Chevy, winning this race produces ultimate hometown bragging rights.
The appropriately named Dual in Detroit is a doubleheader for the IndyCar Series, with a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday.
For Saturday’s IndyCar race, a line of thunderstorms arrived with a vengeance, but running on street and road courses rain or shine is part of the IndyCar tradition.
Chevrolet had the top three qualifiers: Will Power, followed by Helio Castroneves and Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, all three driving for Team Penske, owned by Rodger Penske, who was a big contributor to the recent updates to the Belle Isle facility.
In the end, thunderstorms stopped the race with just 47 laps in the books. While most of the competitors had pitted for fuel and tires, Honda driver Carlos Munoz, who qualified 20th of the 23 cars, took a gamble and stayed on the track, a move that paid off since the race ended with a third of the scheduled laps remaining, giving Chevrolet drivers no chance to get by him.
Chevrolet teams were looking for redemption on Sunday, and they got it. This time, Montoya was on the pole, followed by Power and Castroneves. Conditions were again slick with rain, but the race was run to its conclusion, with former Formula One driver Sebastien Bourdais taking the victory, the first of the year for the KVSH Racing Chevrolet driver.
Bourdais, a master on wet pavement, was ecstatic. "To win here in Detroit, in Chevy's hometown, is so special. Hopefully this is just the start and we can get a couple more wins for the team." It was his 33rd career IndyCar victory, and he was the seventh different winner in eight Verizon IndyCar Series races this season. Points standings after the race had Montoya on top, followed by Will Power and Scott Dixon, who drives the Target Chip Ganassi Chevrolet.
"Congratulations to Sebastien Bourdais for winning the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit under very trying conditions," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "What a great accomplishment for Sebastien in our hometown."
The strong performances by Chevrolet teams in such tough, even treacherous conditions bolster the central reason for Chevrolet racing: To prove, and perfect, technology that transfers to the cars and trucks in your local dealer’s showroom.