It’s official, the Corvette will be leading this year’s Indy 500 for the 16th time; it’s the 30th time a Chevy will serve as the official pace car at the big 500-mile race. A third-gen Corvette driven by car driver Jim Rathmann in 1978 was the first example of America’s Sports Car to pace the race, while a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible led the field in 1948. Chevrolet and the inaugural race were founded the very same year in 1911. Since then, the Bow-Tie has won eight races, including the checkered flag given to Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet last year.
For this year’s Indy 500, a Corvette Grand Sport is decked out in a maroon-ish coat of Long Beach Red Metallic paint with silver stripes, lots of Indy decals, and the Carbon-Fiber Ground Effects package. Under the hood, a 6.2-liter V-8 engine delivers 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. The V-8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Chevy claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds for the pace car.
The Grand Sport also features a performance suspension with magnetorheological dampers, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, and 19-inch aluminum wheels up front and 20-inch pieces at the rear. Inside, the car gets Competition seats, a performance data recorder, and other goodies.
See it in person or on TV when the green flag for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 drops on May 26.