Corvette Official Indy Car
A Corvette has been the pace car for the Indianapolis 500 more than any other car. The Corvette official Indy car has taken its place as the pace car 11 times. Along with seven times for the Camaro, General Motors leads the pack with 47 pace cars. Chrysler is a distant second with 13.
A pace car has been used at the Indy 500 every year since its first race in 1911. A pace car has the job of leading the rest of the cars for the first, un-scored lap of the race. This lap is used by the drivers to warm up their engines and tires. At the end of the lap, the pace car, oftentimes the Corvette official Indy car, leaves the track and the rest of the vehicles begin the race with a rolling start. Being chosen as the pace car is an honor, as is being chosen as the driver of the starting lap. The popularity of the starting lap grew over the years to two laps, and then three.
The Corvette official Indy car made its first appearance as a pace car in 1978 with the C3, driven by legendary racecar driver Jim Rathman. The Corvette was used next as a pace car in 1986 and was driven by pilot Chuck Yeager. Corvette received the honor again in 1995 and 1998. In 2002, the Corvette C5 was chosen for the 50th anniversary of the brand and was driven by actor Jim Caviezel. Corvette rounded out the 2000s with pace cars in the 2004 to 2008 races and again in 2012.
For the next and 97th running of the race, the Corvette official Indy car will be at it once again. The announcement was made recently that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will receive the honor of being the pace car. This will be Corvette’s record 12th Indy pace car. Who will have the honor of driving it remains to be seen.