2019 Indy 500 Pacer is New Corvette Grand Sport

2019 Indy 500 Pacer is New Corvette Grand Sport

Chevrolet has announced that a specially-decorated 2019 Corvette Grand Sport will serve as the Official Pace Car for this year’s 103rd Indianapolis 500 race. Starting in 1978, the Corvette has paced 16 Indy 500s. It will also be the 30th time a Chevrolet did Pace Car duties.

Chevy’s Steve Majoros said, “Chevrolet is honored to lead the way for the 500 once again. The Grand Sport is a particularly excellent (Pace Car) choice as its wide body and aerodynamic features are steeped in racing heritage.”

Racing fans may also see 33 of the new Stingrays on the roads of Central Indiana this spring and in the 500 Festival Parade on May 25 in downtown Indianapolis. Central Indiana business leaders and dignitaries get to test drive the cars to help promote the race. This will be the first time since 2007 that matching Corvettes are being used as both Indy 500 Pace Cars and festival cars.

The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Cars will feature Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat paint with Indy 500 decals; full-length Blade Silver racing stripes; a 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 DI aluminum engine with 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque; an 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission; a dry-sump oiling system; a performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control; Brembo® carbon ceramic brakes; Grand Sport aluminum wheels (19-in. front and 20-in. rear); a Carbon Flash painted carbon fiber ground effects package and Competition Sport bucket seats.

The Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car will be able to go from 0-60 mph in 3.6 secs. The car also has an available cornering capability of 1.2 g, thanks to the Corvette Z06’s many advanced aerodynamic components.

2019 Indy 500 Pacer is New Corvette Grand Sport

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. Louis is buried at the Speedway.

Eight drivers with Chevrolet engines have won the 500-mile race 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 won the NTT IndyCar Series manufacturer championship in six of the last seven seasons.

According to the National Corvette Museum, the 500 will be televised on NBC for the first time, with the pre-race show starting at 11 am EDT May 26. INDYCAR Radio will provide live coverage to its affiliates and also on Sirius 216, XM 209, indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.

About John Gunnell 129 Articles
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys. Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.

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