And the official 2012 Indianapolis 500 pace car is……. drum roll please……a 2013 Corvette ZR1! After waiting more than two weeks for the official announcement to be made, we just found out from GM News that the last C6 model year ZR1 will be pacing the competitors come May 27th at the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. Clad in a 60th Anniversary-esque paint scheme, the ’13 ZR1 is the most powerful production Corvette ever produced, making it the perfect addition to Chevrolet’s lengthy list of Indy pace cars.
With Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Doug Boles’ announcement that the official pace car would either be a Camaro or a Corvette back in April, we expected to see either a 60th Anniversary Corvette or a brand new ZL1 on the track this summer. In an announcement made this morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 60th Anniversary Corvette was confirmed to be the winner. Well, sort of.
According to the GM News announcement, 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.” From what we can tell by the pictures, it seems that the striping on the pace car may be a bit more on the grey side than the blue of 60th Anniversary model, as well as a little lighter, although it’s difficult to tell based on the lighting. Either way, the official pace car is stunning and will go nicely with the Camaro festival cars announced last month.
“Corvette embodies pure performance, so the ZR1 is a perfect car to pace the most prestigious auto race in the world,” Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer was quoted as saying in the GM News announcement. “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.”
While Chevrolet will be celebrating 60 years of the Corvette with the 2013 ZR1 pace car, they will also be celebrating a milestone at Indy. This year marks the 23rd time that a Chevrolet has been used as the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500 race and the 11th time that a Corvette has paced the field. No other manufacturer or car model has paced the Indianapolis 500 race more than Chevy and the Corvette respectively.
“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 in the announcement. “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.”
The green flag is set to drop at the 2012 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday May 27th at noon ET. Be sure to tune into the race to see the ‘13 ZR1 take center stage to start the race.