Detroit — Will Power likes to drive the Raceway on Belle Isle and he says the annual IndyCar Series Detroit Grand Prix provides the opportunity to perform in the bosom of automobile manufacturing in the United States.
Back in town to help Roger Penske celebrate his 500th win, Power, who tied Bobby Unser for seventh all-time in IndyCar wins (35) in August, said he appreciates having the Detroit event again in 2019.
“Really happy to hear they got a three-year deal, and I look forward to another two-year option, after that,” he said.
“It’s a driver’s dream to be given the best equipment, and the best people working and developing the car. Driving for Roger is what you want to do, when you show up here, in the American open-wheel scene.
“You want to drive for Roger Penske.”
Race organizers said Tuesday they will provide greater access and better viewing angles for more fans, in response to their input from 2018 and previous seasons, said Michael Montri, Detroit Grand Prix president.
Tickets went on sale Tuesday at DetroitGP.com, or 866-464-PRIX.
The so-called paddock pass is eliminated, Montri said. Fans will have full access to the event, including the paddock and the winner’s circle at the James Scott Memorial Fountain, along with general admission seating, Montri said.
Turn 3, with its long view of the front stretch, a tight turn and the cars accelerating down another, briefer straight, will get a second grandstand, he said.
The front stretch grandstand will be switched from pit lane to the outside of the track to provide a better sight angle.
And, all the seating in Turn 5, two turns before the head of the backstretch on the southern bank of Belle Isle, will be moved to a brand-new grandstand at the end of the backstretch at Turn 7.
The move makes room at Turn 5 for a new public garden.
By the time he races past fans, from May 31 to June 2, 2019, Power said he hopes his racing luck has changed.
“It’s kind of frustrating in the year when you have the fastest car, and you don’t get up closer to the championship,” said Power, who finished third in the IndyCar Series this year, behind the champion, Scott Dixon, and Alexander Rossi.
Two mechanical issues and two on-track, racing incidents mean for DNFs, for Power: did not finish.
“It was just one of those years when we never really got on a roll,” he said.
But winning his first Indianapolis 500 is a gigantic dollop of sugar, to help with the bitter medicine of racing.