INDIANAPOLIS – A 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 will lead the starting field of the 96th Indianapolis 500 to the green flag Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With 638 horsepower, the Corvette ZR1 is the most powerful production car ever to pace the race.
This will be the 23rd time a Chevrolet has paced "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" and the 11th time a Corvette is serving as the Pace Car. Both are event records. The 2013 model year will mark the 60th anniversary and the final year of production for the current generation Corvette.
"Corvette embodies pure performance, so the ZR1 is a perfect car to pace the most prestigious auto race in the world," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway, and we share in the excitement of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the iconic Corvette brand. It's even more meaningful to see a Chevrolet pacing the field at Indy since Chevy has returned as an engine supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series for the first time since 2005."
"This is a truly momentous year for Chevrolet when it comes to performance, with our continued success on and off track, and especially with our return to the IndyCar Series, powering some of the fastest cars on the circuit," said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "I can't think of a better way to mark the 60th Anniversary of Corvette than having it lead the starting field of the Indianapolis 500."
A supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 engine generating 638 horsepower helps to create the ZR1's performance. Of all mass-production companies, Chevrolet is the leader in using carbon fiber. The lightweight material is used for structural components, including the front fenders, hood, roof, front splitter, rocker panels and floor pans. With a curb weight of 3,353 pounds, the ZR1 features a power-to-weight ratio of just 5.2 pounds per horsepower. The ZR1 also features advanced technology such as Magnetic Selective Ride Control, Launch Control system with Performance Track Management, a four-channel ABS system and Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brake rotors.
As a result, the ZR1 is the fastest Chevrolet ever produced, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and capable of reaching a top speed of 205 mph. The ZR1 lapped the famed Nurburgring' Nordschleife ("north loop") in 7:19.63.
The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six. The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer. In addition to the Fleetmaster Six, the list of Chevy pace cars includes:
- 1955 Bel Air
- 1967 Camaro
- 1969 Camaro
- 1978 Corvette
- 1982 Camaro
- 1986 Corvette
- 1990 Beretta
- 1993 Camaro
- 1995 Corvette
- 1998 Corvette
- 1999 Monte Carlo
- 2002 Corvette
- 2003 SSR
- 2004 Corvette
- 2005 Corvette
- 2006 Corvette
- 2007 Corvette
- 2008 Corvette
- 2009 Camaro
- 2010 Camaro
- 2011 Camaro
- 2013 Corvette
Corvette 60th Anniversary Package
The Corvette Pace Car features an exterior paint scheme and full body length stripe similar to that of the 60th Anniversary Package being made available on all 2013 Corvette models. The 60th Anniversary Package features an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. Convertible models will have a blue top.
Additional content includes a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the "60th" logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. An optional graphics package adds full-length racing stripes in Pearl Silver Blue, including a tonal stripe stitched into the convertible top, extending the graphic theme over the roof.
For 2013, all Corvettes will feature 60th Anniversary badges on the fascias and the "waterfall" panel on convertible models, as well as 60th logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.
The 96th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to start at noon (ET) Sunday, May 27. The driver of the Pace Car will be announced soon.