In a late-April press conference announcing Comerica Bank as a new Presenting Partner for two signature events, M1 Concourse CEO Tim McGrane detailed the new events and many enhanced features included in its expansive sophomore season plans. Also in attendance, Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel greeted members of the community and media attending the event at the state-of-the-art M1 Event Center which opened last year.
Comerica Bank’s Michigan Market President Mike Ritchie was enthusiastic about his institutions new partnership: “For generations, car enthusiasts and owners have contributed to the history of the Motor City. This passion and love for the automobile has created some of this region’s outstanding events that bring people together. By partnering with M1 Concourse [for its Woodward Dream Show and American Speed Festival], our goal is to help continue providing these distinctive and exceptional experiences and build upon this region’s legacy.”
M1’s premier events return for a second year with many “tweaks”, including lower ticket prices, new on-track experiences, food trucks and more family-focused activities.
Said McGrane, “We welcome Comerica as our first Presenting Partner and thank them for their leadership as they share our vision to create unparalleled guest experiences at M1.”
Woodward Dream Show (Aug. 19)
WDS is now a one-day event on Friday, Aug. 19, so community members can enjoy the Woodward Dream Cruise the following day. Celebrating 90 years of the 1932 Ford, 100 years of Lincoln, and 55 years of the Pontiac Firebird, the event features hundreds of unique vehicles as well as remote control off-road cars, Food Truck Alley, and live entertainment.
New this year is the “Insiders Garage” on Friday evening. The panel discussion emceed by WCSX’s Jim O’Brien will feature industry leaders discussing cruising and customization. Panelists include Adam Genei of Mobsteel, Kevin Byrd of Two Guys Garage, Murray Pfaff of Pfaff Designs, and others.
On Saturday, to celebrate Woodward Dream Cruise, M1 will host a parade of 200 vehicles through Pontiac and on Woodward. Vehicles will be selected from 20 invited car clubs, and all community members can enjoy the parade.
American Speed Festival (Sept. 29-Oct. 2)
The American Speed Festival celebrates 60 years of Shelby American and 75 years of Ferrari. On Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, two days of on-track activity and demonstrations return along with the opportunity for patrons to enjoy a ride-along with a professional driver. The weekend also features remote control off-road cars, premium food, a Lifestyle Pavilion, and live entertainment. New this year is a Speed & Style Expo Car Show and Art Exhibit on Sunday, Oct. 2 with race cars, performance cars, muscle cars, classics, and exotics that represent and define performance and speed.
At the April press conference, McGrane introduced the American Speed Festival’s Master of Motorsports recipient Peter Brock who shared remarks by video. Brock, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in March, will attend Festival, and receive his award at the Checkered Flag Ball on Saturday, Oct.1.
The Checkered Flag Ball is produced by the Checkered Flag Challenge, M1’s philanthropic arm. Proceeds go to M1 Mobility, which provides transportation solutions for Pontiac residents. The new initiative debuted last year and was able to serve the community despite the challenges presented by COVID as outlined by Dustin McClellan of the Pontiac Community Foundation.
Original artwork for this year’s Ball, created by Nico Roussele, was unveiled and will be part of the live auction at the Ball. Tickets for the Ball will be on sale later in May.
Cycle Races Coming to M1 (July 16-17)
McGrane also announced the Inaugural M1 Cycle Classic on Sunday, July 17, taking place at M1 Concourse. In partnership with the Michigan Bike Racing Association, the new event will feature a full day of on-track cycling events across 10 classes. On Saturday, July 16, the Detroit Athletic Club Foundation will host their Detroit Cycling Championship event. Both M1 and the DAC will collaborate on promoting a full weekend of cycling events in Metro Detroit.
Cars and Coffee (Every 1st Saturday, April-Oct.)
Additional events at M1 during the season of “All Things Automotive” include Cars and Coffee, held on the first Saturday mornings of the month, from April through Oct.. This year, a speaker series called “Off The Grid” will feature industry leaders, legendary racers and more.
For additional details on all of the M1 Concourse “All Things Automotive” summer and fall, click HERE.