The Detroit Auto Show, known officially as the North American International Auto Show or NAIAS, featured the usual plethora of new car launches, concept cars, and general self-promotion from the worlds car companies. Fortunately, this usually includes displaying race cars from various series that manufacturers compete in. This year, Indycar also set up a stand and showed some of its best material. Here are the most notable racing items on display at NAIAS.
- The LM GTE Pro class winning Ford GT race car. Ford rightly concluded the best possible way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of it’s Le Mans victory in 1966 was to win again. They did so with the help of Chip Ganassi and this, the 68 car driven by Sebastian Bourdais, Joey Hand, and Dirk Muller. For authenticity, they left the car raw. All the dirt, damage, and glory of the moment remain. Beautiful.
- The iconic Borg Warner Trophy. This is it. The actual trophy, with the names and faces of the winners imprinted around its circumference. Look closely and young American, and F1 veteran, Alexander Rossi, smiles proudly at the bottom.
- Rossi’s Indianapolis 500 winning car also came to the show. Take a close look at the car. Notice the trimmed-out aero in hopes to make the car slip through air as easily as possible, with just enough downforce to keep your foot flat.
- Indycar also brought along Simon Pagenaud’s championship winning car. He clinched it at Sonoma Raceway in California, a road course. See the difference? Another 1000 pounds of downforce, perhaps?
Mercedes also mounted an F1 car to the wall of its stand, but that’s become rote for them and, yes, we know it’s a winning car, and, yes, rah rah, look at how fast it is. But that’s a display car, nothing more. The cars you see here were the very machines that did the work. Great to see.