When the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 kicks off in a few weeks time, it will be with a Chevrolet at the head of the field…as the pace car.
Aside from fielding several of the top entries for this year's race, Chevy is once again supplying the pace car, a patriotically colored Corvette Grand Sport. The automatic-transmission Grand Sport coupe has a white body with blue and red accents, and its silver wheels shroud Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, which come standard as part of the must-have Z07 package.
As a refresher, the Grand Sport combines elements of the Corvette Stingray and Z06. It has the Stingray's naturally aspirated 460-horsepower 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 with the Z06's aero package of front splitters and a wickerbill spoiler, an electronic limited-slip differential, wide Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, and bigger brakes. It also boasts better cooling. The Z07 package adds Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires, carbon-ceramic brakes, Magnetic Selective Ride Control dampers, and an even more aggressive aero package.
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Indy 500 Pace CarEnlarge Photo
According to Chevrolet, this is the 28th time the brand has led the Brickyard field to the green flag since 1948. A cursory Wikipedia search shows Chevy pace cars on Indy duty perennially since 2002. The last time Chevy didn't supply the pace car, Oldsmobile was still around.
The 2017 Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for May 28 and will see Chevrolet and Honda resume their multi-year rivalry at the Brickyard. A sub-plot of that battle is the arrival of some Spaniard named Fernando Alonso, who races for McLaren in Formula One. In other words, May 28 will be a race worth watching for more reasons than Chevy's latest pace vehicle.