Juan Pablo Montoya and Josef Newgarden stood on pit lane facing Turn 1 of the Belle Isle street course employed for the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and soaked in more than the chilly breeze off the Detroit River.
The Verizon IndyCar Series drivers were looking ahead to the sights, sounds and drama they’ll experience again from their vantage points.
“The Grand Prix is such an important event to Detroit, to Chevrolet and to all of us Team Penske,” Montoya said. “It’s great to come here and get a chance to look ahead to late May when we race on Belle Isle. It was pretty cold on pit lane so I’ll be looking forward to when we’re back here racing and it’s a lot warmer.”
The Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans – the lone doubleheader on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule – is May 29-31. Last year, Montoya’s teammates, Will Power and Helio Castroneves, swept the 70-lap races. GET TICKETS, INFO
Montoya and Newgarden, who enters his fourth season with CFH Racing, hosted a driving video of the 2.34-mile, 13-turn race circuit. Exiting the cold, they visited the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center, where they participated in autograph sessions for show attendees at the Verizon display and the WXYZ-TV stage (where Montoya’s car was on display).
“It was great to see the fans and all the great cars at the auto show and seeing the No. 2 Verizon car just made me wish the season was starting this week and we could get back on track,” said Montoya, who will be in the red and white car Feb. 3 at Sebring International Raceway for the initial test session of the season.
On stage, they were joined for a Q&A with fans by Bud Denker, Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix chairman; Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports; Jim Vurpillat, Global Marketing director for Cadillac; Stadium Super Truck Series driver Aaron Bambach; and C.J. O’Donnell, INDYCAR chief marketing officer.
"I have heard so much about the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and it was great to attend for the first time,” said Newgarden, who also will test Feb. 3-4 at Sebring. “It was so cool to see all of the vehicles on display, but the best part was being on stage and able to talk about INDYCAR, Chevy and the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
“Hopefully, we made some new fans that will come out and watch us this summer.”