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From Track to Street, How Motorsports Improves What We Drive

“Improving the breed.”

by on May.31, 2013

GM President Mark Reuss with the Corvette pace car he'll be riding in during the IndyCar race on Detroit's Belle Isle.

When the field of IndyCars lines up on the grid at Detroit’s Belle Isle race track this Sunday, you can be guaranteed that General Motors will lead the pack. That’s because Mark Reuss, GM’s President of North America, will be riding in the pace car, a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

There’s no way to know who’ll ultimately take the checkered flag but Reuss and GM clearly hope for a repeat of last week’s Indy 500, the maker’s Chevrolet division powering to a 1-2-3 victory, the first time Chevy has won the celebrated race in 11 years.

The Last Word!

That victory has a number of benefits, according to Reuss. “We’re a company that lost what it feels like to win,” he says, recalling with a grimace the bankruptcy that nearly shut GM down just four years ago. But wins like Indy are “giving us a feel of what it’s like to win again as a company.”

There are other payoffs, the executive says.


Track Damage Nearly Wrecks Detroit IndyCar Race

Crash, long delay blamed on problem with track surface.

by on Jun.04, 2012

Detroit Grand Prix crews make emergency repairs on the damaged Belle Isle track.

Detroit’s weather-beaten roads are a frequent target of criticism, but drivers on the IndyCar circuit were particularly disturbed when the surface on the Motor City’s Belle Isle race track began to break up, leading to a crash and a long delay as crews raced to patch things up.

After a more than two-hour delay, the race was allowed to resume, albeit in abbreviated form, with Scott Dixon delivering the victory in a Target Chip Ganassi Honda, his first win of the year.

Breaking News!

The Detroit race was the city’s first since 2008 and was intended to serve as a highlight of Motown’s turnaround, with sponsors including Chevrolet and race and industrial mogul Roger Penske investing heavily to pull out all the promotional stops.

Initially, the biggest problem appeared likely to be the rain clouds that hovered over the Motor City since Friday’s practice sessions began.  But by Sunday the weather finally seemed ready to cooperate.  Unfortunately, the track didn’t.


GM Reveals New Turbo IndyCar as it Commits to Indy Returning to Detroit

Revived Motor City race series may add new battery car event.

by on Oct.12, 2011

GM's new IndyCar entry will migrate to a high-tech direct-injected turbo V-6.

The roar is returning to Detroit.  With General Motors lending its support – along with race legend Roger Penske – the Motor City will again see a weekend of racing next year with the IndyCar series serving as its high-profile anchor.

To mark its own return to IndyCar racing, meanwhile, GM’s Chevrolet division unveiled an all-new open-wheeled car that will feature a new high-tech turbocharged V-6 engine making as much as 700 horsepower.

But to reflect the changing nature of the automotive market, GM’s top American executive told that the partners in the annual event will be looking at the possibility of adding a race featuring battery-powered vehicles.

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“Detroit is a natural for racing,” proclaimed Mark Reuss, president of GM’s North American operations, during an announcement at the maker’s headquarters along the Detroit River.  “The city puts the world on wheels.  The roar of the engine simply belongs in Detroit.”