2013 Corvette ZR-1 to Pace 2012 Indy 500
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This year’s running of the Indianapolis 500 will be paced by the Corvette ZR-1. When the flag is dropped May 27th, the most powerful production car to have ever paced the Indy 500 will lead the field. The Corvette’s inclusion marks four important milestones. This will be the 11th time that a Corvette has set the pace, and number 23 for a Chevrolet. This is the 60th anniversary of Corvette and also the last production year of this body style. For the first time since 2005 the pace car will not be the only Chevy engine run that day. After a multi-year absence, Chevy is now an engine suppler to race teams competing at the Brickyard. Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports said in a press statement “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. 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.”
Corvette fans will be happy to hear that the car pacing the 500 is available to them as well. The eight cylinder, supercharged, LS9 engine in the ZR-1 generates 638 horsepower and a sound that is music to the ears of motorsports fans. If the engine was the only special feature in this car it would still be worth noting. However, it is the complete car that tells the story of the Corvette ZR-1. Built on an entirely different frame than the base corvette, the ZR-1 uses carbon fiber extensively. Chevy has added lightness throughout the car. Chevrolet consider itself the leader in carbon-fiber technology among mass produced performance cars. In addition to structural components the fenders, hood, floor pans, and roof are made from the lightweight, ultra-strong composite. The ceramic brake rotors that make up part of the Brembo brake system and magnetic ride control should help prevent a repeat of the 1971 pace car disaster that resulted partly from an overpowered American iron-horse not being able to stop safely.
60th Anniversary Corvette Package
For the 2013 model Corvette Chevy is offering a 60th Anniversary package that has the same look as the pace car. The package starts with an Arctic White exterior and can be accented with a full body stripe in Pearl Silver Blue. Convertible models will also have blue tops to match the color scheme. A ZR-1 style rear spoiler, special badging, and “60th” logo adorn the headrests, wheel center caps and steering wheel and are also found on the sill plates and gauge cluster of all Corvettes this year.
The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 will commence at noon on Sunday May 27th and the driver of the pace car will be John Goreham (I wish!)