A 2019 Corvette Grand Sport will serve as the Official Pace Car for the 2019 Indianapolis 500, leading 33 drivers to the green flag on May 26 for the 103rd running of the legendary race.
It’s a beauty, too, in Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat with a GM Design Indy 500 decal badge along with full-length racing blade silver dual stripes. (Let’s just hope GM President Mark Ruess isn’t driving it. If you don’t recall the story from last year’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Indy Car race, click here. )
16th Time Covette Will Lead “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”
When the Grand Sport hits the track in May it will mark the 16th time a Corvette has served as the Pace Car, starting in 1978. It will also be the 30th time a Chevrolet has led the field dating back to 1948, when a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible paced the race.
Chevy says no other brand or vehicle for that matter has served as the 500 Pace Car more than Chevrolet and the Corvette, respectively.
“Chevrolet is honored to lead the way for the 500 once again,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The Grand Sport is a particularly excellent choice as its wide body and aerodynamic features are steeped in racing heritage.”
2019 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car Highlights
The Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The car also has an available cornering capability of 1.2 g, thanks to the Corvette Z06’s many advanced aerodynamic components. Other highlights include:
Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat with unique GM Design Indy 500 decal package.
Full Length Racing Blade Silver Dual Stripes.
LT1 6.2-liter V-8 DI aluminum engine with 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission.
Dry-sump oil system.
Performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control.
Brembo carbon ceramic brakes.
Grand Sport aluminum wheels: 19-inch front and 20-inch rear.
Indianapolis 500 fans also will see 33 2019 Corvette Stingrays on the roads of Central Indiana this spring and in the IPL 500 Festival Parade on May 25 in downtown Indianapolis. The popular cars are provided to central Indiana business leaders and dignitaries and serve an important promotional role for the race, Chevrolet and Corvette. This is the first time since 2007 that matching Corvettes are serving as the 500 Pace Car and festival cars.
“We continue to be grateful for our long-running partnership with Chevrolet,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “It’s such a strong bond that has proven integral to the success of our events. The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport is a world-class machine that exudes speed, performance and excitement, a perfect fit to lead the 500 field. Personally, there is nothing quite like driving an Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Corvette around Indiana in May, and I know our fans also will enjoy seeing the Corvette Stingray festival cars around town throughout the Month of May.”
Chevrolet Racing History
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 co-founder Louis Chevrolet, along with brothers Arthur and Gaston, competed in early Indy 500 races. Arthur competed in the 1911 race and Gaston won in 1920.
Eight drivers with Chevrolet engines have combined to win “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” 10 times, with Rick Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, Arie Luyendyk, Al Unser Jr., Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power taking the checkered flag with bowtie power.
Power drove the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet to victory in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and the 102nd Indianapolis 500 last May, the first time a driver has swept both events in the same year. Chevrolet also was on the pole for both races, with Power leading the way in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Ed Carpenter taking the top spot for the Indy 500.
Team Chevy also has won the NTT IndyCar Series manufacturer championship in six of the last seven seasons.