Ask any driver in the Indy 500 if they’d like additional track time, in any car, and we’d bet the answer is yes. When Chevy tossed the keys to the Corvette ZR1 pace car to Indy 500 polesitter Ryan Briscoe, we’re pretty sure the Team Penske driver didn’t need any further encouragement.
While the ZR1 Corvette isn’t capable of the same 226.484 mph average speed as the run that earned Briscoe the pole in this year’s race, it’s still plenty fast. We’re guessing that the IndyCar driver’s estimate of 140 to 150 mph in the corners is on the conservative side, but Briscoe isn’t paid to test the limits of a street car the week before the big show.
The 2013 Corvette ZR1 chosen for this year’s pace car comes with a 638-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine, which makes it the most powerful production car to ever pace an Indy 500. Paint and striping mirrors that available in the 60th Anniversary Package, which is available on all Corvette models in 2013.
The pace car isn’t the only Chevy-powered vehicle starting in the front of this year’s Indy 500. Eight of the top nine qualifiers for this year’s Indy 500 will be using a Chevrolet engine, so it’s a good bet that one will cross the yard of bricks first after 500 miles, too.