Changes to 2019 Detroit Grand Prix include new grandstands, open paddock

Posted at 8:57 AM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 08:57:08-04

After signing a new contract with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear has announced several major changes in an effort to make the race even more enjoyable for fans.

One of the biggest changes will be an open paddock for all fans throughout the weekend. Usually, the paddock, which is known as the "locker room of motorsports," was an add-on for tickets on Saturday and Sunday, but free for fans on Friday.

Inside the paddock, fans can get up close in the garage area and see their favorite drivers, how the teams do work and much more.

On top of that, an open paddock means fan access to the Scott Fountain and the ability to watch the winner's circle, which produced great images of Ryan Hunter-Reay riding a lion inside the fountain after Sunday's race in the 2018 grand prix.

Grand Prix officials also announced they are moving Grandstand 1 from behind the pits to along the front straightaway, which had previously been occupied by chalets. The move will allow fans to see cars coming around turn 13 and toward the start-finish line.

They have also added a second grandstand in turn 3, which comes out of the longest straightaway on the track. One of the grandstands, inside of turn 3, will be general admission. Another grandstand coming out of the back stretch was moved inside the horseshoe to see the cars come out the fastest portion of the track. Grandstand 5 has been moved and will no longer be there due to the new Oudolf Garden coming in that area.

2019 year will be the first year in the last several years that the Stadium Super Trucks will not return to Belle Isle, but the Verizon IndyCar Series, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series and the Trans Am Series will return once again.