Just a couple days ago, we saw spy shots of a C7 Corvette testing for what we assumed was pace car duty for the Indianapolis 500, and now General Motors has confirmed that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will, in fact, lead the field to the green flag for the 97th running of the Indy 500. Not only will this be the 17th consecutive year a GM vehicle has paced the race and the 12th straight time a Chevy has handled pace car duty, but it will also mark the 12th time a Corvette has held this distinction.
Aside from the well-concealed safety lights and the expected decals, no styling or performance upgrades have been made to the Stingray, including its factory Laguna Blue paint scheme. Scroll down for the official press release, and be sure to check out our gallery showing the previous 11 Corvettes to pace the Indy 500.
Related Gallery2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Indy 500 Pace Car
2014 Corvette Stingray to Pace 97th Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS – The all-new, seventh-generation 2014 Corvette Stingray will serve as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, leading the field to green at the start of the 97th running of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing," on Sunday, May 26, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It marks a record 12th time the Corvette has served as the Pace Car, starting in 1978.
"It is an honor to help inaugurate the all-new Corvette Stingray at the hallowed Brickyard and further the legacy between Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500," said Jim Campbell, GM vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "The 2014 Corvette Stingray's performance was influenced by racing, making this prestigious assignment even more fitting."
Along with Chevrolet's return in 2012 as an engine supplier, the Corvette Stingray Pace Car extends a legacy at the Brickyard that dates to the racetrack's early days.
"Chevrolet is a great partner of the Speedway," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. "That connection is heightened this year with the next-generation Corvette in front of a very talented field of racers."
Decked out in Laguna Blue Tintcoat with official Indianapolis 500 graphics on the doors, the Corvette Stingray Pace Car differs from production models with only track-mandated safety features and strobe lights. No powertrain upgrades are required to run in front of the IndyCar pack, thanks to its all-new 6.2L LT1 engine, which features advanced technologies including direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation). They help produce an estimated 450 horsepower more efficiently.
The 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe goes on sale this fall, with a convertible model – featuring a fully electronic top that can be operated remotely with the key fob – coming a few months later. Vehicle highlights include:
An interior that offers genuine carbon fiber and aluminum trim, hand-wrapped leather materials, dual eight-inch configurable driver/infotainment screens, and two new seat choices – each featuring a lightweight magnesium frame for exceptional support
Advanced driver technologies, including a five-position Drive Mode Selector that tailors 12 vehicle attributes to fit the driver's environment and a new seven-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching that anticipates gear selections and matches engine speed for perfect shifts every time
Lightweight materials, including a carbon fiber hood and removable carbon fiber roof panel on coupes; composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels; carbon-nano composite underbody panels and a new aluminum frame help shift weight rearward for an optimal 50/50 weight balance that supports a world-class power-to-weight ratio
A sculpted exterior featuring advanced high-intensity discharge and light-emitting diode lighting and racing-proven aerodynamics that balance low drag for efficiency and performance elements for improved stability and track capability
Track-oriented Z51 Performance Package, including an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; as well as a unique aero package that further improves high-speed stability.
The Corvette Pace Car features the track-capable Z51 package.
Chevrolet and the Indianapolis 500
Chevrolet has a long shared history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series. Chevrolet was founded in 1911, the year of the inaugural 500-mile race, and the Chevrolet brothers – company co-founder Louis, Arthur and Gaston – all competed in early Indy 500 races. Arthur Chevrolet competed in the 1911 race and Gaston Chevrolet won it in 1920.
Chevrolet competed in Indy-style competition as an engine manufacturer in 1986-93 and 2002-05 with V-8 engines, and returned in 2012 with the Chevrolet IndyCar twin-turbo V-6 engine with direct injection. In that time, Chevrolet won 118 IndyCar races, powered seven driver series champions and scored seven Indianapolis 500 victories.
2013 marks the 24th time a Chevrolet has served as the official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500, more than any other brand, dating to 1948 with a Chevrolet Fleetmaster. Camaro has served in the role seven times and, with this year's running, Corvette has led the way a record 12 times.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.