Excitement builds on Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Preparation continues on Belle Isle for the 2012 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.

Many of the racers are already in town. Team Penske racer Helio Castroneves and recent Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti told 7 Action News they are happy to be back in Detroit after the Grand Prix's four year hiatus.

"For me it's a special place. I won my first IndyCar race ever in Detroit and the first you never forget," said Castroneves.

 "I love coming here," said Franchitti. "The first time a came here was 1997. I love Detroit. I've been to some events here more recently with Roger Penske. I think he does so much for the city here."

Castroneves, the 2007 winner of Dancing With The Stars, and fellow racers spent the afternoon at a luncheon at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle. 

Several red Chevy Camaros and a red Corvette were driven by the racers such as Castroneves and his teammate Ryan Briscoe. Sponsors got to hop in the cars to see what the racers would experience this Sunday. 

They topped speeds as high as 120 miles per hour at times in the Corvette.

Vice President of Penske and Event Chairman, Bud Denker jumped into a race car driven by one of the most famous racers in the world, Mario Andretti.

"It's a rush," said Denker.  "It's just awesome. Mario Andretti driving me on the race track. What a legend, hero of mine. I got to go on a two-seater ride around Belle Isle."

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