Notes: Lear Corporation presenting sponsor of Chevrolet Detroit GP

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The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix today announced that Lear Corporation will be presenting sponsor of the June 2-4 event featuring the only doubleheader race weekend on the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. The event on the Raceway at Belle Isle Park will now be known as the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.

With its world headquarters located in metropolitan Detroit, Lear Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems. Lear, an international brand with approximately 150,000 employees in 37 countries, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year as the company was founded in Detroit in 1917.

“Lear is proud to partner with Chevrolet to bring the grand prix to the Motor City. Belle Isle Park is a perfect setting for an event like the grand prix,” said Matt Simoncini, president and CEO of Lear Corporation. “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of race fans to Detroit and showcasing our city to a national television audience of millions. Detroit is America’s comeback city and a great place to live, work and innovate.”

There have been 21 Indy car races on the Belle Isle temporary street circuit dating to 1992. This year marks the fifth straight season that the Verizon IndyCar Series will host two races on the 2.35-mile course on the same weekend. Race winners last year were Sebastien Bourdais and Will Power.

“The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix is so proud to welcome Lear Corporation as our presenting sponsor in 2017,” said Bud Denker, chairman of the grand prix. “Lear and Matt Simoncini are great supporters of Detroit and our community. We could not ask for a better partner to team with Chevrolet and help us host world-class racing and a weekend full of fun and excitement in the Motor City.”

Tickets for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear are on sale now. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.DetroitGP.com or call (866) 464-7749 (PRIX).

‘Big Al’ Unser returning to IMS for SVRA pro-am race

One of the greatest drivers in Indianapolis Motor Speedway history is making a return to competition at the scene of his greatest triumphs. Al Unser, one of just three four-time winners of the Indianapolis 500, will return to IMS to race in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s "Indy Legends" Charity Pro-Am on June 17.

Unser, fifth on the all-time Indy car victory list with 39, will join his son, Al Unser Jr., the two-time Indy 500 champion and winner of 34 career Indy car races. It will mark the first time since 1993 that the two have competed together at IMS. 

"I guess I got tired of watching the kids have all the fun," said the senior Unser, who served as Brickyard Invitational grand marshal in 2015. "Seriously, Tony Parella and his SVRA team have created a first-class event and that's why the entire Unser family has gotten behind it. We believe in what he is doing and I personally enjoy reconnecting with the great fans of the Indianapolis 500."

The Indy Legends Pro-Am, which benefits the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Foundation, is the showcase event of the Brickyard Invitational weekend. The Unsers, along with 31 other Indianapolis 500 veterans, will race in 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of SVRA "Group 6" A and B Production. The Indianapolis 500 veterans are paired with amateur drivers, splitting their shifts at the wheel.

In addition to the pro-am race, other activities on the June 16-18 race weekend include more than 500 vintage racers competing in SVRA Groups 1 through 12, the Motostalgia car auction, the Hagerty Insurance "shine and show" car corral, vintage motorcycle racing and displays. Also, the Brickyard Invitational will be preceded by a new SVRA event, the World Open Wheel Challenge, commemorating 50 years of Formula Ford and welcoming all forms of open-wheel cars beginning June 8.

Team Penske adds 3D printing partner in Stratasys

Team Penske announced today that it has formed a technical partnership with Stratasys Ltd., the 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company.

As part of a multiyear agreement, Stratasys will provide equipment and support services to assist Team Penske in its engineering and manufacturing efforts across its INDYCAR and NASCAR racing platforms. Stratasys will furnish Team Penske with state-of-the-art 3D printing solutions to create manufacturing tooling and car parts as well as rapidly generate engineering prototypes.

“Our strategic partnership with Stratasys should keep our manufacturing and engineering processes at the front of the pack,” said Tim Cindric, Team Penske president. “Stratasys is on the cutting edge of additive manufacturing technology for automotive applications. Utilizing their equipment and technical support will provide us with another means to put our ideas on the racetrack first.”

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