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Dodge revs up M1 Concourse with new sponsorship

Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

Dodge and Metro Detroit’s newest car enthusiast Mecca announced a partnership on Friday that will make the Dodge Viper ACR the “Official Pace Car” of the M1 Concourse.

The deal includes the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV brand having a “significant presence” at the newly developed Pontiac car condo and raceway, officials said.

“M1 is a community for car enthusiasts,” said Tim Kuniskis, Fiat Chrysler-North America head of passenger car brands, in a statement. “As enthusiasts ourselves, Dodge feels this is the perfect place to give passionate car buffs a chance to drive our ultimate performance vehicles – the Dodge Viper and the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Chargers.”

The company will provide a handful of Dodge vehicles, including two Viper ACRs, to be utilized at track events, including driving schools and M1 Motorsports Club events. Other cars provided include the Viper GTS, Charger SRT Hellcat and Challenger SRT Hellcat.

“The vehicles Dodge is providing reflect the essence of the Detroit car culture and our club members and visitors will experience them in the perfect environment, where their full capabilities can be safely enjoyed,” said Brad Oleshansky, founder and CEO of M1 Concourse, in a statement.

Officials declined to comment on any specific details of the partnership, including cost or length.

M1 Concourse is an 87-acre development located on the site of a former General Motors plant in Pontiac. The $50 million to $70 million project includes car condos, four-acre outdoor event venue with a 2 1/2-acre area known as a skid pad to test handling, and 1 1/2-mile race track called the Champion Motor Speedway.

The first 80 of more than 250 car condos facing the track’s 1/3-mile straightaway are expected to be complete next month. Fifty more car condos are expected to be finished by year’s end. Car condo pricing ranges from $105,000 for 500 square feet to $650,000 for 3,000 square feet.

A car condo is anything an owner would like — from a place to store or work on cars to an event space for businesses.

A retail space with restaurants on the southeast part of the property, as well as additional car condos, are expected to be built through 2018.

M1 Concourse is scheduled to begin hosting events this month, followed by an official grand opening a week before the Woodward Dream Cruise in August.

The development is on the northwest corner of South Boulevard and Woodward. It was previously home to the General Motors Validation Facility, which was torn down in 2008. Before that, it was the site of the Pontiac West assembly plant.

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