Thursday, August 20, 2020

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to Lead the Way at 104th Indy 500

Photo Credit: Chevrolet/General Motors

Delayed by three months by the COVID-19 pandemic and operating under a series of special restriction including the ultimate decision run without fans in attendance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 will take place for the 104th time this weekend on August 23rd. Set to be a drastically different version of the classic 500-mile event on the 2.5-mile historic oval, the 2020 edition of the great race will continue to feature a few normal touches. One of the familiar traditions with the Indianapolis 500 since its inception is an official pace selected to lead the race cars to the green flag.  

Leading the 33-car field to the start of the 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 will be a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop coupe. Wearing Torch Red exterior paint accompanied with Carbon Flash accents, the Corvette Stingray pace car appearance includes a body colour-matching high-wing rear spoiler and another ground effect accessories that are also available to customers of the street-going version of the sports car. 2020 Indy 500 badging is applied over the door panels with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s insignia placed on the side body panels above the rear tires. The interior of the pace car features Nappa leather-upholstered GT2 seats with carbon fiber trim. 

Photo Credit: Chevrolet/General Motors

Propelled by a 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 engine that generates 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pace car certainly has the momentum to competently lead a contingent of purpose-built open wheel race cars around the oval. The Corvette Stingray can launch from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 194 miles per hour. Power is channelled through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Z51 Performance Package is also installed on the 2020 Indianapolis 500 pace car that optimizes it with larger brake rotors, improved cooling and a performance exhaust system. 

Marking the 17th time that the Chevrolet Corvette will lead the field to green for the Indianapolis 500, this year’s car has a little more in common with the race vehicles than other past outings. The eighth generation Corvette’s rear mid-engined layout follows a trend that competitors in the great race had adopted roughly six decades earlier. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray coupe will be only the second car in the history of the Indianapolis 500 to be mid-engined with both being General Motors products. The first and only time prior, Pontiac Fiero that served in the official role during the 1984 event.

Photo Credit: Chevrolet/General Motors

Alongside the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500 is the honourary pace car driver entrusted to take the three-abreast race field around for 2.5-mile oval ahead of the green flag dropping. For 2020, General Motors President Mark Reuss is set to drive his company’s prized sports car on the parade laps before the start of the 200-lap event. Reuss is perhaps looking for some added redemption for a past turn as a pace car driver. In 2018, Reuss infamously crashed a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car at the start of the second race of the Detroit Grand Prix weekend. Losing control of the 755-horsepower sports car coming out of a corner, Mark Reuss collided with a track barrier on the Belle Isle street circuit. While the front of the Corvette ZR1 pace car was badly damaged, the General Motors executive fortunately left the vehicle unhurt (unharmed physically, at least). An identical backup pace car was present in Detroit and will certainly be available this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (in risk of rubbing-in what was one of the most embarrassing pace car fails captured on camera). Regular IndyCar Series pace car driver Sarah Fisher will take over the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray following the start of the Indianapolis 500.

The 2020 Indianapolis 500 will be the 19th consecutive time that a Chevrolet is functioning in pace car duties.

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