The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport will serve as the official pace car for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, leading 33 drivers to the green flag on Sunday, May 26.
It marks the 16th time a Corvette has served as the pace car, starting in 1978, and the 30th time that a Chevrolet will lead the field dating to 1948, when a 1948 Fleetmaster Six convertible paced the race. No other brand or vehicle has served as the Indianapolis 500 pace car more than Chevrolet and the Corvette, respectively.
“Chevrolet is honored to lead the way for the 500 once again,” said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing. “The Grand Sport is a particularly excellent choice as its wide body and aerodynamic features are steeped in racing heritage.”
The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car features: an LT1 6.2-liter V-8 DI aluminum engine with 460 horsepower and 465 pounds-feet of torque; an eight-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission; and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The honorary pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500 will be named later.
Chevrolet is the defending manufacturer winner of both the Indianapolis 500 run on the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval and the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course. Team Penske’s Will Power became the first driver to sweep both races last year.
Indianapolis 500 fans also will see 33 2019 Corvette Stingrays on the roads this spring and in the IPL 500 Festival Parade on Saturday, May 25 in downtown Indianapolis. The popular cars are provided to central Indiana business leaders and dignitaries and serve an important promotional role for the race. This is the first time since 2007 that matching Corvettes are serving as the Indy 500 pace car and festival cars.
“We continue to be grateful for our long-running partnership with Chevrolet,” Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said. “It’s such a strong bond that has proven integral to the success of our events. The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport is a world-class machine that exudes speed, performance and excitement, a perfect fit to lead the 500 field. Personally, there is nothing quite like driving an Indianapolis 500 Chevrolet Corvette around Indiana in May, and I know our fans also will enjoy seeing the Corvette Stingray festival cars around town throughout the Month of May.”
Visit IMS.com to purchase tickets for all month of May activities at IMS, including the INDYCAR Grand Prix on Saturday, May 11 and the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26. Both races air live on NBC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.
IMS Museum exhibit recognizes Team Penske’s 50th anniversary at Indy 500
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has opened a special mini-exhibit honoring Team Penske’s 50th anniversary of competing in the Indianapolis 500. “Team Penske’s First 500” commemorates the 1969 race when Roger Penske first entered a car in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” with rookie driver Mark Donohue qualifying fourth and finishing the race in seventh place.
Since then, Penske entries have gone on to win 17 Indy 500s, more than any team in history. The exhibit that runs through mid-November includes the No. 66 Sunoco-Simoniz Lola T152/Offenhauser that Donohue drove that day; the No. 66 McLaren M16B/Offy that Donohue drove to victory three years later in the 1972 Indy 500 for Team Penske’s first win at IMS; The No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Dallara/Chevrolet driven to victory a year ago in the 102nd Indianapolis 500; and more.
The Team Penske exhibit will run concurrently with the IMS Museum’s major 2019 exhibit honoring the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s memorable Indianapolis 500 win. Opening May 1, “Mario Andretti: ICON” presented by Shell V-Power NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline celebrates his 1969 triumph and incredible driving career, which included a period with Team Penske.
Detroit fans to enjoy Free Friday again thanks to Comerica Bank
Fans attending the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear can gain free admission to the track on Friday, May 31, thanks to Comerica Bank. It marks the seventh straight year that the NTT IndyCar Series event on Belle Isle will be open to the public for free.
The opening day features NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions on the 2.35-mile temporary street course as teams and drivers prepare for the only doubleheader race weekend on the schedule.
“We are excited to announce the return of Comerica Bank Free Prix Day and we encourage everyone to come down and experience the first day of the Grand Prix on Belle Isle,” said Michael Montri, president of the grand prix. “Free Prix Day is a tradition at the grand prix and, thanks to Comerica Bank, we look forward to celebrating the 30th grand prix event in Detroit with all of our fans at no charge on Friday, May 31.”
For more information on the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, or to purchase tickets for the Saturday and Sunday activities on Belle Isle, can visit DetroitGP.com or call 866-464-7749 (PRIX).