2015 Belle Isle Grand Prix Defies Weather, Brings in High TV Ratings

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Despite the less than ideal weather last weekend, the Grand Prix managed to produce solid returns for 2015. Notable attention came through television ratings, viewership, and social media.

It appears, however, that Detroiters would rather leave the rain to the ducks. Attendance at the event was estimated at 65,000, down from previous years because of the stubborn rain.

Though the rain may have lessened the number of attendees, it heightened the excitement. Fans at home eagerly watched the cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series, waiting too see how they would handle the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in wet conditions.

The Grand Prix enjoyed national overnight numbers for both the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit. The races ranked higher than any INDYCAR event this season except the Indianapolis 500.

Saturday’s Dual in Detroit race on ABC-TV drew a 0.7 rating. That’s down a little from the Saturday race broadcast last year. The on-track action was delayed and ended early because of the rain.

Sunday’s Dual in Detroit on ABC-TV got a 1.0 overnight rating. That’s the highest rating for any Detroit Verizon IndyCar Series broadcast since the Grand Prix returned to Belle Isle in 2007.

Local ratings for the Grand Prix were even higher. Saturday’s race received a 2.8 rating on WXYZ-TV, and Sunday’s race drew a 4.2 rating on the same channel.

The Grand Prix’s social media following, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, grew to 12.4 million people. That’s an increase of 86 percent from 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.”

2015 Grand Prix Winners

  • Carlos Munoz earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series victory in Saturday’s Dual in Detroit.
  • Former series champion Sebastien Bourdais won Sunday’s second Dual in Detroit.
  • Dane Cameron and Eric Curran won with the Whelan Engineering Chevrolet Corvette
  • DP in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship race.
  • In the GTD class, Mario Farnbacher and Ian James won.
  • In the PC class, Micro Shultis and Renger van der Sande won.
  • Kevin Estre won the GT class victory on Saturday in the first Pirelli World Challenge.
  • Henrique Cisneros won in the GTA class.
  • Robby Gordon won Friday’s SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road race.
  • E.J. Viso won on the Off-Road on Saturday.
  • Burt Jenner won the Off-Road on Sunday.

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