Winning bidder will drive 2011 Indy 500 Pace Car on parade lap A thrill of a lifetime awaits the winning bidder of the Barrett-Jackson auction Saturday, Jan. 22 for the special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible that will serve as the Official Pace Car for the 2011 Indianapolis 500.
The top bidder will have the opportunity to drive the car during a parade lap in front of the field of 33 starters shortly before the green flag flies at "The Most Important Race In History" on Sunday, May 29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
SPEED will televise the Camaro auction between 9-11 p.m. (ET) Jan. 22 during its 11 consecutive hours of live coverage from 2 p.m.-1 a.m., with Indianapolis 500 winners and speed milestone holders Arie Luyendyk and Tom Sneva scheduled to drive the Camaro Convertible Pace Car onto the auction stage in Scottsdale, Ariz. Luyendyk and officials from IMS and Chevrolet unveiled the car Thursday, Jan. 20 at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale.
The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet and the seventh Camaro chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500. This year is the 100th anniversary of the race and also the centennial year of Chevrolet.
"The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Chevrolet name have long been associated with one another beginning with Arthur, Louis and Gaston Chevrolet's participation as competitors in the Indianapolis 500," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "It's fitting in this 100th year for IMS and Chevy that we reinforce our longtime relationship through this year's Camaro Pace Car.
"We're also thrilled that the car will be one of the featured vehicles in the world-famous Barrett-Jackson auction, with a superb incentive for the winning bidder and a vital charity involved."
Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation (http://www.davidfosterfoundation.org), a charity devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization in his native Canada. His cousin Billy Foster participated as a driver in the 1965 and 1966 Indianapolis 500.
A bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the car Saturday, Jan. 22, live on SPEED. This auctioned vehicle will not be that actual Pace Car, nor will the high bidder be the traditional celebrity Pace Car driver. The celebrity driver will be announced at a later date.
The commemorative-edition Pace Car to be auctioned Jan. 22 is one of the 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee Cars. It carries lot number 1284, and bids can be submitted at the auction in person or online by clicking the following link for a 2011 absentee bidder registration packet:
This year's Pace Car and matching Festival cars feature a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.
The color combination is similar to the design used on 1969 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replicas - cars which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.
"It's an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year," said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "This is also a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro's strong momentum, while supporting an important charity."
Equipped with a 400-horsepower V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the actual Pace Car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the 33-car racing field. All 50 of the Festival Committees cars - including the car auctioned Jan. 22 - will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS equipment package and RS package.