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Speeds in excess of 200 mph aren’t usually a big deal at the Indy 500, but this year will be a little different. After all, that terminal velocity isn’t for a racecar, it’s for a pace car: The 2013 Chevy Corvette ZR1. The fastest, most powerful Corvette ever to reach dealerships will hit the Brickyard on May 27 as the fastest, most powerful production car to ever pace the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“Corvette embodies pure performance, so the ZR1 is a perfect car to pace the most prestigious auto race in the world,” said Jeff Belskus, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation. “Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway, and we share in the excitement of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the iconic Corvette brand. It’s even more meaningful to see a Chevrolet pacing the field at Indy since Chevy has returned as an engine supplier for the IZOD IndyCar Series for the first time since 2005.”
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Corvette ZR1 Pace Car: Celebrating the Corvette Anniversary
Because 2013 also marks 60 years since the introduction of the original Corvette, the ZR1 pace car will wear the livery inspired by the 60th Anniversary Package that is available on all retail Corvettes for the 2013 model year. That means a brilliant Arctic White exterior finish that’s set off by full-length Pearl Silver Blue racing stripes and, on Corvette convertibles, a blue top with stitched-in tonal striping. The interior is done in Blue Diamond leather with suede accents, and other upgrades include a ZR1-style rear spoiler, gray-painted brake calipers, and special badging both inside and out.
The only bad news? With a focus on the 60th anniversary—and the launch of the potent 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collectors Edition—Chevy won’t be offering customers a dedicated pace-car replica this time around.
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Chevy at Indy: A History Lesson
Not only will the Corvette ZR1 re-set the bar in terms of pace-car power, but it also further extends two more benchmarks as well. It will be the 11th Corvette to lead the race—a record for individual nameplates—and the 23rd Chevy—a record for pace cars from a single brand. Other Bowtie products to pace the race have included the Bel Air, Monte Carlo, SSR and Camaro, the latter of which has done the job seven times.
The pace-car pioneer for Chevy was the Fleetmaster Six, in 1948, and it shows just how far performance has come in the past 65 years. The Fleetmaster relied on a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated I6 engine that made about 90 hp and 170 lb-ft. of torque, providing a top speed of 74 mph and a 0-60 time of more than 20 seconds. The 2013 Corvette ZR1, on the other hand, holsters a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, worth 638 hp and 604 lb.-ft. of torque, and can reach 205 mph while sprinting from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds.
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