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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Detroit works to bring Grand Prix back

Associated Press

DETROIT -- Organizers of the Detroit Grand Prix are setting up sponsorships that could return the race to the city next year.

The City Council on Tuesday approved an application to bring the race back to Detroit's Belle Isle next June, event chair Bud Denker told The Associated Press.

"We have to start with the landlord first, and (the city) owns the park," Denker said. "Now, we have to put the pieces of sponsorship together. Nothing is confirmed."

The application was approved for multiple years. Denker added that he expects to have sponsorships in the next few weeks. Race officials are eyeing June 1-3 for the event.

The Detroit race series on Belle Isle started in 2007 after a six-year gap. Earlier auto races took place on streets around the Renaissance Center.

The last race was held in 2008 in Detroit and later was canceled due to the poor economy and trouble getting sponsors.

"A lot of people were disappointed, but people understood we were going into a very difficult recession," said Denker, a senior vice president at the Penske Corp. "Now, they are excited we are bringing it back. We want to bring back the excitement."