Previewing the Detroit Grand Prix ahead of a high-speed weekend

After months of planning, a grand prix event years in the making returns to downtown Detroit this weekend for the first time in decades.

A 1.7-mile track that features nine turns and opportunities for speeds up to 200 mph past some of the Motor City's most famous iconography. While the speeds on Jefferson don't get higher than 25 mph usually, officials are prepared to make an exception this week.

But it's not just an IndyCar series race that will keep the city hyped, but a slew of other car-related events and even some famous artists performing at the end of the day. 

That includes Free Prix Day on Friday, which enables people to check out some of the grandstands free of charge. After today, it'll require a ticket to get into the viewing spot. 

There's also fun to be had at Hart Plaza and Cadillac Square where concerts are planned, small businesses will be in attendance, as well as opportunities to meet some famous Detroit athletes.

Check out a brief dissection of the racecourse here

As for when the racing begins, practice sessions will dominate much of the first day before some qualifying rounds early Friday evening. The first official race is at noon Saturday. 

The second race of the week will be at 12:50 p.m. on Sunday before the main event starts at 3:45 p.m. that day.

MORE: Detroit Grand Prix schedule including race start, concert times, and more

Naturally, blocking off a huge chunk of the city could disrupt plans and travel routes for many. Make sure to check out our parking guide to help you navigate downtown before making the trip. 

More Detroit Grand Prix coverage