Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport is selected as pace car for upcoming 2017 Indianapolis 500

Article by Christian A., on May 9, 2017

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport is a one of a kind sports car; it actually does look like the Z06 minus the 190 hp. And while we’d all wish that we can park this Corvette in our garage, it has more exciting things to do first. The Corvette Grand Sport was chosen to serve as the pace car for the upcoming 2017 Indianapolis 500, the 101st run of this legendary race.

The Chevrolet Corvette will once again grace the Brickyard as the official pace car after a year off. Its track-ready Grand Sport variant will be the on the front of this year's race scheduled on May 28. The Vette's Grand Sport pace car is painted with a white finish, and a blue strip runs from the front hood to the rear of the car. Red strips are also found on the front fenders and side sills.

Furthermore, the iconic Indy 500 logo is placed on the sport car's doors. The alternative carbon fiber aero set will give the 'Vette a more aggressive look. The American company further disclosed that the sports car is fitted with performance equipment that will aid the pace car when lapping the track. The coupe is also fitted with 6.2L V8 engine that produces around 460 hP (343 kW) and 465 lb-ft (630 Newton-meters) of torque.

Its 8-speed automatic gearbox will deliver the output directly to the front wheels with an electronic limited slip differential. A set of 19 inch 285/30 tires at the front, 20 inch 335/25 units on the back and a magnetic ride control suspension aid in achieving the car's 1.2g of cornering capacity. Furthermore, the Z07 package's Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes are no joke, it lets the sports car achieve incredible speeds with less effort.

This is not the first time for the American automaker to send a sports car as a pace car, as this is the 14th time a 'Vette will take its place as a pace car, and it will also be the 28th Chevy to do so. A vehicle from the Bowtie has performed this duty for every year ever since '02. Around 2016, a Camaro SS was the official pace car, and a Corvette Z06 was the chosen car for the 2015's race.

The first Chevy to take part as a pace car did its duty way back in 1948, when a C3 Corvette did its job. Marketing director for Cars and Crossovers, Steve Majoros, said that Chevrolet is proud to once again grace the Indianapolis 500. He further added that the Corvette Grand Sport's performance capacity and heritage make it the most appropriate vehicle to pace the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The American automaker is hoping to secure a victory at the Indy 500 this year. In the previous year, Alexander Rossi bagged the victory in a Honda-powered car, with Carlos Munoz securing the 2nd place with a Honda engine too.

Press Release

CORVETTE GRAND SPORT TO PACE 101ST INDIANAPOLIS 500

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.

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