After a year off, the Chevrolet Corvette will return to the Brickyard as the pace car of the 101st Indianapolis 500. Specifically, a Grand Sport version of the ‘Vette will be at the forefront of this year’s race on May 28.
The Corvette Grand Sport pace car combines a white body and blue stripe that runs from nose to tail. There are also red strips on the front fenders and side sills. The Indy 500 logo appears on the doors. The optional carbon-fiber aero package lends a more aggressive appearance, too.
According to Chevy, the coupe is fully loaded with performance equipment that should help it when lapping the speedway. Power comes a 6.2-liter V8 with 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts) and 465 pound-feet (630 Newton-meters) of torque. An eight-speed automatic gearbox routes the output to the rear wheels, and there's an electronic limited-slip differential. The magnetic ride control suspension, and a set of 19-inch 285/30 tires at the front and 20-inch 335/25 units on the back help achieve the car’s 1.2g of cornering capability. The Z07 package’s Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes also let this ‘Vette effortlessly shed speed.
This year will be the 14th time for a Corvette to perform the duties as pace car, and it will be the 28th Chevy. A model from the Bowtie has held this role every year since 2002. Last year, a Camaro SS did the job, and a Corvette Z06 was on track for the race’s 2015 running. The first Chevy to hold this honor was way back in 1948.
Chevrolet will certainly be looking for a victory at the Indy 500 this year. Last year, Alexander Rossi won in a Honda-powered car, and Carlos Munoz in second place also had a Honda-supplied engine.
Gallery: Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car
CORVETTE GRAND SPORT TO PACE 101ST INDIANAPOLIS 500
Track-honed model advances legacy and is 14th Corvette to pace the iconic race
INDIANAPOLIS — The Corvette Grand Sport is the official pace car for the 2017 Indianapolis 500 and will lead drivers to the green flag on May 28 for the 101st running of the legendary race.
It marks the 14th time a Corvette has served as the official pace car, starting in 1978, and the 28th time a Chevrolet has led the field, dating back to 1948. No other vehicle has served as the pace car more than the Corvette.
“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, marketing director for Cars and Crossovers. “The Corvette Grand Sport’s performance capability and motorsports heritage make it the perfect choice to pace the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport pace car features:
- 460-hp (343 kW) LT1 direct-injected V-8 engine with dry-sump oiling and active exhaust
- Eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
- Equipped with the available carbon-fiber ground effects package
- Specific Grand Sport wheel design: 19 x 10-inch (front) and 20 x 12-inch (rear)
- Standard magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs
- Standard electronic limited-slip differential
- Includes the available Z07 package, with carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors and 285/30ZR19 (front) and 335/25ZR20 (rear) high-performance tires
- Brembo Carbon Ceramic brake system with 15.5-inch (394 mm) rotors with six-piston calipers in front and 15.3-inch (380 mm) rotors with four-piston calipers in rear
- Unique Indy 500 graphics package.
The Grand Sport pace car equipped with the Z07 package can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, cover the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and achieve 1.2 g cornering capability.
Chevrolet has a storied history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race, and company cofounder Louis Chevrolet, along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early Indy 500 races. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the 1911 race and Gaston Chevrolet won it in 1920.
“Chevrolet and Indianapolis are inextricably linked, sharing one of the longest racing heritages in all of motorsports,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We are proud of the longstanding relationship between Chevrolet and the Speedway and we love having the Corvette Grand Sport lead the 500 field to the green flag.”
Chevrolet is pursuing its sixth consecutive IndyCar manufacturer championship this year, building on a successful 2016 season that saw 14 wins out of 16 races.
FAST FACT: The first Chevrolet Indianapolis 500 pace car was a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4.0 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.