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Chevrolet Camaro Convertible to lead the field at the 100th Indy 500

When the field takes the track this Sunday around noon for the 100th running of the famous Indianapolis 500 a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible will serve as the pace car – the 22nd time a Chevrolet has lead the field and the 7th time the fabled Chevy pony car has been selected as the Indy 500 pace car.

The first Chevrolet Camaro pace car was used in 1967 when the Camaro was first introduced and it was back again in 1969 in the form of a white and orange convertible. The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible pace car derives its styling from that 1969 Camaro pace car with white paint clad in orange stripes and trim, finished with orange interior surfaces.

The first Indianapolis 500 was held on Memorial Day weekend in 1911 with track owner and event organizer Carl Fisher leading the field in his own vehicle a vintage Stoddard-Dayton. Fisher believed that a rolling start with a pace car was safer than the “driver’s sprint” style starts that had previous been used in various forms of racing and Fisher’s pace car start has become a mainstay in American racing.

Over the years, it has become a major milestone for an automaker to see their vehicle pace the historic event and in most cases the Indy 500 has spawned a limited edition collectable trimline for the vehicle chosen to lead the field. The 1969 Camaro Convertible pace car saw 3,675 replicas offered and these have become among the most sought-after Camaros to collectors. The 2011 Camaro SS Convertible has also received a replica trimline sporting the same great look at the actual pace car but with just 500 units built – these cars are in short order and will likely demand top dollar.

In addition to Chevrolet leading the field at the 100th annual Indy 500, GM used the attention to announce that they will resume offering engines for the IndyCar series. GM has been out of the Indy engine business since their last V8 bowed out after the 2005 season but starting next year, the new Chevrolet IndyCar V6 will be available to all interested parties. This engine measures just 2.2L with a pair of turbochargers helping to boost the output of this tiny V6. Team Penske has announced that they will use the new Chevrolet IndyCar V6 – making them the first team to feature Chevy power for 2012.

The 2011 Indianapolis 500 begins at Noon this coming Sunday and you can catch the action on ABC. Check local listings for your local air time and channel.

Other GM News:
The new Chevrolet Impala will be made in the USA
Introducing the Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Intimidator Camaro
Win a 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible from GM
Chevrolet Impala to get 302hp in 2012
GM to invest $109 million in Michigan engine facilities
GM CEO Akerson buys $939k in company stock

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