CHEVROLET DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX PRODUCES SOME IMPRESSIVE 2015 RETURNS, DESPITE WEATHER CHALLENGES
DETROIT, Mich. (June 3, 2015) – With the final results in, the numbers reveal that the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix weathered the storm last weekend – literally.
Amid one of the worst weather weekends in recent memory in Detroit, the Grand Prix still produced solid returns both in television ratings and viewership, through social media and even in the grandstands, though attendance numbers were certainly down from previous years due to the challenging conditions.
On television, fans were certainly excited to see how the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series would handle the fast and physical 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit in wet conditions over the Saturday and Sunday races in the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.
The national overnight numbers from both races were very strong with each race drawing a rating that was higher than any INDYCAR event this season other than the Indianapolis 500. Saturday’s Dual in Detroit race on ABC-TV drew a .7 rating, which was down slightly from the Saturday race broadcast in 2014, due mainly to the fact that the on-track action was delayed and ultimately ended early due to heavy rain and lightning at Belle Isle. Sunday’s Chevy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans ABC-TV race broadcast posted 1.0 overnight rating – the highest-rated for any Detroit Verizon IndyCar Series race broadcast since the Grand Prix returned in 2007.It marked the highest national rating for a series broadcast outside of the Indy 500 since the Pocono race last season and represented a 52% increase over last year’s Sunday race rating.
Locally, the Grand Prix also established new television rating records. With a 2.8 rating on WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Saturday’s race represented a 33% increase from 2014 while Sunday’s Dual in Detroit race posted a remarkable 4.2 household rating, a boost of over 60% from last year’s Sunday race numbers on WXYZ.
On social media, the Grand Prix continued to raise the bar even higher. After establishing impressive growth on its social channels over the past three years, the Grand Prix reached new heights in 2015. The total reach for the Grand Prix on its social channels of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube was measured at 12.4 million people, which represented an increase of 86% from 2014. The Grand Prix recorded 139.5 million total social media impressions in 2015, an increase of 34% from last year’s final numbers.
Corporate partnership also reached an all-time high in 2015 with more than 70 sponsors supporting the Grand Prix, compared to 56 partner companies in 2014.
“We want to thank all of our partners and fans for their support and dedication to the Grand Prix,” said Bud Denker, Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “We saw some tremendous growth and engagement both in television viewership and on social media and we even had what I would consider really strong at-track attendance considering the challenges we had with the weather over the weekend. All 33 of our corporate chalets were packed on both Saturday and Sunday and we saw a lot of fans brave the elements to experience all this great event has to offer.”
With rain all three days dampening the track but not the spirits of the fans or competitors at the Grand Prix, attendance numbers were down as event organizers estimated the total attendance at approximately 65,000. A strong crowd in excess of 20,000 attended on Friday, May 29 for Comerica Bank Free Prix Day while approximately 30,000 visited Belle Isle on Saturday, May 30. With rain throughout the day and unseasonably cold temperatures in the low 50s with a strong wind on Sunday, May 31, an estimated crowd of a little over 15,000 witnessed the final day of the Grand Prix.
It was a memorable weekend of competition on the track with Andretti Autosport’s Carlos Munoz earning his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory in Saturday’s Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Former series champion Sebastien Bourdais produced for Chevrolet as he won for KVSH Racing in Sunday’s second Dual in Detroit race. In the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers on Saturday, Dane Cameron and Eric Curran drove the Whelan Engineering Chevrolet Corvette DP to victory for Action Express Racing in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race. In the GTD class, Mario Farnbacher and Ian James won for Alex Job Racing while Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande won the PC Class for Starworks Motorsport. In the first scheduled Pirelli World Challenge race of the weekend – the Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers – Kevin Estre captured the GT Class victory on Saturday while Henrique Cisneros won in the GTA Class. Rain forced the cancellation of the second series race on Sunday. In the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road presented by TRAXXAS truck series races, Robby Gordon won on Friday, E.J. Viso took the victory on Saturday and Burt Jenner claimed the win on Sunday.
For more information on the Grand Prix throughout the year, visit www.detroitgp.com.