Corvette to again pace the Indy 500
The 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible will serve as the Official Pace Car for the 91st Indianapolis 500, a record fourth consecutive turn at the front of the field of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
It's the ninth time Corvette will pace the Indianapolis 500, a record for the event. The previous years were 1978, 1986, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006. It's the 18th time a Chevrolet will lead the field, also an event record.
The 91st Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with live coverage on ABC Sports and the IMS Radio Network. The Pace Car driver will be announced at a later date.
"Corvette is synonymous with speed to millions of worldwide automotive enthusiasts, so it's only fitting that the 2007 Corvette Convertible will pace the field for the 91st Indianapolis 500," IMS President Joie Chitwood said. "The heritage of Corvette performance that started with the first model in 1953 is a perfect match for the history and tradition of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.'"
The 2007 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Corvette Convertible will be featured in Chevrolet's display at the 99th Chicago Auto Show, the largest auto show in North America, from Feb. 9-18 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The car also will be prominently featured in Chevy's media activities Feb. 7-8 before the show opens to the public.
Chevrolet will produce 500 special-edition replicas of the Indianapolis 500 Corvette Convertible Pace Car for sale to the general public. The cars, manufactured in Bowling Green, Ky., will be available starting this spring.
It's the first time since 1998 that Chevy will offer a regular production replica of the Indy 500 Pace Car. But several dozen copies of all the Pace Cars have been used for official activities in support of their respective Indianapolis 500 races, such as parades. These cars - known as "festival" cars - have become prized collectibles, along with the limited-edition, regular-production replicas.
The performance-bred Corvette handles its official pace duties in nearly factory-stock trim, with little more than racetrack-required safety equipment, strobe lights and eye-catching graphics added.
In years past, many Indianapolis 500 Pace Cars required modification to perform their on-track tasks. The 2007 Corvette's powertrain and suspension, including a 400-horsepower (298 kW) LS2 small-block V-8 engine, are more than adequate to maintain the speed, acceleration and handling required to lead the pack around the famed 2.5-mile oval.
"Chevrolet and Corvette have a long, storied history at Indianapolis, and the new Pace Car special edition commemorates that heritage with what will surely be an instant collectible," said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager.
The distinguishing features of the Pace Car replica include:
.Atomic Orange exterior color, including door handles
.Indianapolis 500 exterior graphics - including gold ribbon graphics that flow outward from the front fender vents and "Indianapolis 500" door logos
.Special Indianapolis 500 fender badges
.Z06 rear spoiler
.New aluminum "split-spoke" wheels in Sterling Silver
.Ebony seats with embroidered Indianapolis 500 logos
.Interior trim plate and pods painted Atomic Orange
.Atomic Orange engine covers
All of the Pace Car replicas are equipped with the Z51 performance package. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with the six-speed paddle-shift automatic optional. The navigation system with Bose audio and OnStar also are standard.