ZR1 Named Official Pace Car of the Indy 500!


The 2019 Corvette ZR1 will lead the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500

2019 Corvette ZR1 Pace Car
The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was selected to pace 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500.

Earlier today, Chevrolet announced that the 2019 Corvette ZR1 will handle all pace car duties for the 2018 Indy 500 race, which is scheduled for May 27th.

Since the Corvette first served as the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500 in 1978, it has led the “Greatest Spectacle In Racing” a total of fifteen times, including at the 102nd running of the race this year.  That means the Chevy Corvette (in one of four iterations – from C3 to C7) has served as the official pace car for more than 10 percent of all Indy 500 races.
“Chevrolet is proud to once again pace the Indianapolis 500,” said Steve Majoros, head of marketing for cars and crossovers. “The ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette ever made. It’s the perfect choice to pace ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’”
Chevrolet is also proud to point out that one of its founders, Arthur Chevrolet, competed in the first 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1911.  A few years later, Gaston Chevrolet won the 1920 race.
2019 Corvette ZR1 pace car with other Indianapolis 500 Corvette pace cars.
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Pace Car will mark the 15th appearance of the Corvette as the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500.

In addition to supplying 15 Corvettes as official pace cars over the past several decades, Chevrolet has carried the honor of providing a total of 29 cars to serve as the pace car in this event.  The company’s history of supply pace cars for the race dates back to 1947 when a Fleetmaster Six convertible was responsible for leading the field.

As for this year’s ZR1 Corvette?  The 755hp Corvette’s engine actually out performs the engines used in the IndyCar racers.  Each IndyCar engine is estimated to produce between 550-700 horsepower, depending on turbo boost used at track.  Of course, these cars only weigh 1,590lbs (when setup for a speedway event like the Indy 500), so there’s little chance that the ZR1 will be outrunning any of the official competitors at the May 27th event.
Still, for those of us out there that would welcome any chance to see the new 2019 Corvette ZR1 run wide open, we can think of few places that would be more exciting to see the car achieve its published top-speed of 212 miles per hour than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  While there’s probably little chance of that actually happening at the race, it will still be exciting to see the new super-‘Vette out on the track, adding to Chevrolet’s decades long legacy of leading this amazing event.

Previous Corvette Pace Cars To Lead the Indianapolis 500

1978 Corvette

1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car
The 1978 Corvette Indy Pace Car was the first Corvette ever to serve as the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500. It was piloted by Jim Rathmann, winner of the 1960 Indianapolis 500.

1986 Corvette

1986 Corvette convertible Indy Pace Car
The second Corvette to lead the field at the 500 was a 1986 Corvette convertible – the first Corvette convertible offered since 1975, The pace car was driven by General Chuck Yeager at the 1986 Indianapolis 500.

1995 Corvette

1995 Corvette Indy Pace Car Convertible
The 1995 Corvette Indy Pace Car was once more a convertible. Jim Perkins, (then) General Manager of Chevrolet piloted the car for the race.

1998 Corvette

1998 Corvette Convertible Pace Car Indy 500
The 1998 Corvette Indy Pace Car marked the 20th anniversary of Corvette’s first appearance as the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500. The car was piloted by Parnelli Jones, winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500.

2002 Corvette

2002 Chevy Corvette Pace Car Jim Caviezel
The 2002 Indy Pace Car was a Chevy Corvette coupe. It was driven by film actor Jim Caviezel.

2004 Corvette

2004 Corvette Indy Pace Car Morgan Freeman
The 2004 Indianapolis 500 once more featured a Corvette convertible, this time garbed in a patriotic red, white and blue theme. It was piloted by Adademy Award Winner and Actor Morgan Freeman.

2005 Corvette

2005 Corvette C6 Pace Car
General Colin Powell paced the 89th Indy 500 race in a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette, the first C6 Corvette to pace the famed race.

2006 Corvette Z06

2006 Corvette Z06 Lance Armstrong
Corvette returned the following year, this time featuring a 2006 Z06 Corvette, marking the first time a Z06 Corvette led the field at the Indianapolis 500. The car was piloted by Lance Armstrong, 7-time Winner of the Tour de France

2007 Corvette Convertible

2007 Corvette Indy Pace Car Patrick Dempsey
For 2007, the Chevy Corvette made yet another appearance at the race, this time piloted by actor Patrick Dempsey.

2008 Corvette Z06

A special 2008 Corvette Z06 featuring green-yellow-red prism paint and setup to run on E85 ethanol fuel paced the race. It was driven by 2-time Indy 500 winner and 2-time F1 Champion, Emerson Fittipaldi.
2008 Pace Car Collectors Edition
2008 also marked the 30th anniversary of Corvette’s first appearance as the offical pace car for the Indianapolis 500. To celebrate the anniversary, Chevrolet manufactured 500 Black Commemorative Edition Corvettes to celebrate the milestone.

2013 Corvette ZR1 (Featured in the 2012 Running of the Indianapolis 500)

2013 Indy Pace Car Guy Fieri
For the 2012 Indianapolis 500, a 2013 Corvette ZR1 was featured. Although available since 2009, this was the first time the ZR1 – Corvette’s Flagship model – was featured as the official pace car. It was driven by Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri.

2014 Corvette Stingray

2014 Corvette Stingray 2013 Indy 500 Jim Harbaugh
The 2014 Corvette Stingray was selected to lead the 2013 running of the Indianapolis 500. It marked the first time that a C7 was featured as the official pace car of the event. It was piloted by NFL Coach and ex-quarterback Jim Harbaugh.

2015 Corvette Z06

2015 Corvette Z06 Jeff Gordon
The 2015 Corvette Z06 was selected to lead the field at the 2015 Indianapolis 500. It was piloted by retired NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

2017 Corvette Grand Sport

2017 Indy Pace Car Jeffrey Dean Morgan
The 2017 Indianapolis 500 featured the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport as its official pace car, marking the first time a Grand Sport edition Corvette paced the event. The car was piloted by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

 

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