Organizers have revealed more details of the inaugural American Speed Festival, set for M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan from Sept. 30-Oct. 3. The new event is being designed to showcase excellence in automotive engineering and design, as well as celebrate driving at speed, including the thrill of motorsport competition.
Set to feature more than 200 distinguished cars drawn from OEMs and collections around the world, ASF will combine world-class auto exposition with live racing action on M1 Concourse’s 1.5-mile road course, Champion Motor Speedway (pictured above).
“The American Speed Festival will bring together the best elements of the automotive world into one place this September,” said Tim Hartge, chief marketing officer of Pontiac Motorsport Exhibition, the promoter of the new event. “The advantage we have of doing this event here at M1 Concourse is that people will be able to see, and hear and be up close to some of the greatest performance and race cars in the world.
“This is not a static car show. This is an all-encompassing event that will delight all the senses of any car enthusiast.”
“We’ve studied some of the best automotive events around the world, and we’re taking the best elements of all those shows and bringing them here to M1 Concourse with the American Speed Festival,” said Dave Sherman, interim CEO of PME. “This will truly be a celebration of racing and performance, and we will have experiences and elements that will appeal to everyone from eight to 80 years of age.”
Each year, the American Speed Festival will have a featured class of cars and honor a legend of the industry.
The featured class will be the legendary Can Am race cars from the 1960s and ’70s, and the first “Master of Motorsports” award will go to Motorsport Hall of Fame racing innovator Jim Hall, who is scheduled to attend and be part of the event.
“What’s so important about having the Can Am cars here and honoring Jim Hall is that it fits right in with how we want to showcase innovation in racing and the automotive world,” said Hartge. “Jim Hall is truly legendary for the advancements he made to racing in terms of aerodynamics and engineering advancements.”
“I don’t know that there is anyone who, by himself, changed the sport of auto racing globally as much as Jim Hall,” said George Levy, president of the Motorsport Hall of Fame of America and the author of an upcoming authorized biography of Hall that will come out this year. “To car-crazy kids like me in the 1960s, Jim Hall was the Neil Armstrong of motorsports during that time.”
“This is not just an ordinary car show,” said Sherman. “It’s a celebration of all things automotive, mixed with premier food, wine and spirits that also make this a festival of the finer things in life.”
The American Speed Festival will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 30 with an exclusive “Dine and Drive” event throughout metropolitan Detroit for behind the scenes looks at some of the great automotive history of the Motor City. Thursday evening’s Motor Grille will be open to the public.
Friday and Saturday will feature high-speed on-track activity for past, present and future race and performance vehicles, utilizing the M1 Concourse “Speed Ring” for single-car time trials, as well as guest appearances, autograph sessions and Q&A sessions and seminars.
Friday evening will be a special “ASF Garage Reveal” event that will bring together the drivers, owners and industry insiders for an evening of fun and bench racing.
Saturday evening will be the Checkered Flag Ball to benefit the Checkered Flag Challenge, a new 501c3 supporting organizations that are changing lives in Pontiac.
Sunday will feature the American Speed Festival Exposition, a judged competition of the best of the best car classes during the weekend, and a chance to enthusiasts to get up close to some of the greatest cars in North America and the world.
This American Speed Festival will cap off two weeks of automotive excellence at M1 Concourse. The facility was also selected to host the 2021 Motor Bella event on Sept. 21-26, a “bridge to the future” outdoor auto-centric event that will temporarily replace the cancelled North American International Auto Show normally held in downtown Detroit.
“This is the place to be at the end of September,” said Hartge. “You’ll find the best cars, the best food and spirits, and the best people in the industry… all gathering at M1 Concourse. It is the best of the best and you won’t want to miss it.”
Tickets are on sale now, with pricing for the day’s events including all food and beverages. Evening events are ticketed separately. Ticket information and a full schedule of events are now available at www.americanspeedfestival.com.