With the departure of Porsche from the American Le Mans Series, we can say good-bye to the 2009 Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix.
Automakers have been dropping out of racing left and right recently. Honda dropped out of Formula One and both Audi and Porsche dropped out of the American Le Mans Series. Unfortunately, Roger Penske –who spearheads the event –happens to race Porsche RS Spyder Le Mans cars.
With the loss of his racing team and Detroit’s overall economy, Penske and the Detroit Grand Prix board decided not to host the event in 2009. Penske says “We have the assets to continue on, but there’s no reason at this point to have an event that wouldn’t be first-class.”
Penske points to the knowledge that Detroit is more economically distressed than many parts of the country are and preoccupied with recent events. Penske says “We couldn’t sit here and count on a lot of things happening that we know weren’t going to happen.” Although the 2009 event was canceled, officials hope to bring the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix back as soon as possible.