This Year’s Indy 500 Pace Car Is Corvette Z06 And It Will Be Driven By Jeff Gordon
As one of the biggest motoring events in the world, the Indy 500 race is definitely a place where any and every celebrity, famous driver or sportsman of any kind should be. Attracting up to 300.000 visitors at the world’s biggest sports venue in Indianapolis, the Indy 500 is definitely cherry on top o the cake for any car driver and for anyone involved with it. Here, the pace car is a big deal. It is not such a big deal because of the safety standards and other boring things, but it is a big deal because of the marketing promotion, history and the very spectacle this car race is all about. Just how important is best is shown by celebrity appearances in the pace cars over the last hundred years. The tradition remains that the race should be opened with the pace car driven by a notable person and some of them were Guy Fieri, Patrick Dempsey, Chuck Yeager, Morgan Freemen and even Lance Armstrong (when everyone thought he was not on drugs).
Apart from the celebrities, the cars which are the pace cars are often the best US can offer at the moment and for the past 13 years Chevrolet provided its care for the purpose. For the 99th installment of the race, once again Chevrolet will lead the way with their meticulous Corvette Z06 Pace Car. Interestingly, we found out that in 99 Indy 500 races Chevrolet provided the car 26 times and this year, the honour of driving it went to the one of the most famous racing drivers of all times – Jeff Gordon.
It seems that the guy is really happy about this as he made a statement earlier: “Indy is hallowed ground for racers like me and I couldn’t be more thrilled to drive the Corvette Z06 pace car around the track that helped drive my success over the years. The Indianapolis 500 is one of the most celebrated races of the year and an event I always dreamed of racing while growing up in California and in nearby Pittsboro. I’ve won five NASCAR races at IMS and the track will always be a special place for me, so to be able to participate in such a historic day will be something I remember for the rest of my life.”
Interestingly, the only other driver who won here five times was Michael Schumacher in his Formula 1 car. As ever, the Pace Car is just a stock vehicle that came out from the production line. This time, Chevrolet chose the Corvette Z06 which is, curiously, as powerful as the monster race cars it will lead to the start of a race. With supercharged V8 engine developing mind bending 650 HP, the new Corvette Z06 is possibly the best Corvette of all times and it is, definitely the fastest. We have recently shown the C7.R Edition – a special version of the Z06, and this one that will be on the track with Jeff Gordon driving it, will be no less special than that one.
As a refresher, the car is able to crack 200 mph and to accelerate to 60 in about 3 seconds. That is something only a few European cars can do, so this is a really big deal for Chevrolet. The rules do not require any special equipment to be integrated on the pace car, so the Z06 that will be driven on the last Sunday in May will be almost bare stock. The only major difference are the decals, now specially designed for this race.
As before, apart from awarding the driver with a lot of money, the tradition is that the winner of the race is rewarded with a pace car. We guess that this year won’t be any different.
Categories: Production Cars