2019 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport to pace the 103rd Indy 500
A 2019 Corvette Grand Sport will lead drivers to the starting line of the 103rd running of the “greatest spectacle in racing,” the Indianapolis 500, as the official pace car for the May 26 race. This will be the 16th Corvette and 30th Chevrolet to pace the field.
In addition, General Motors is supplying race organizers with 33 examples of the 2019 Corvette Stingray to use as courtesy cars for local business leaders and dignitaries attending the race and related festivities. Those ‘Vettes will participate in the IPL 500 Festival Parade in downtown Indianapolis, held the day before the 500-mile race runs. This is the first time since 2007 that the Corvette will be used as both the pace car for the race and as festival cars.
Distinguishing the pace car is a special Indy 500 decal package from GM Design, splayed out over Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat paint, along with dual silver racing stripes that run the length of the car. As usual, technical features include a 460-horsepower 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox (rather than the standard seven-speed manual), dry-sump engine lubrication, MagneRide suspension dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, staggered Grand Sport aluminum wheels (19 inches up front, 20 inches in the back), competition sport bucket seats, a “Carbon Flash”-painted carbon-fiber ground effects package, and Chevy’s track data recorder.
Chevrolet’s connection to the Indy 500 goes back to the race’s beginnings. Company namesake Louis Chevrolet and his brothers drove in early runnings of the race. His brother Arthur competed in the first 500 in 1911 and his other brother Gaston won the race in 1920.
No announcement was made, but, as has been the practice for previous Corvette pace cars, you can safely guess that Chevrolet will likely offer commemorative pace car replicas for sale.