It’s been over three decades since the first Chevrolet Corvette, a black over silver two-tone coupe, paced the self-described “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” over the Memorial Day weekend in 1978.
Since that day, ten other Vettes (and 13 other Chevrolets) have performed this duty at what was originally advertised as the “International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race” and when the green flag drops on May 26th of this year, the car that will enter the pits after leading the field will be yet another Corvette – one, in fact, that won’t hit dealer showrooms until this fall.
“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.”
Pace car specs
A number of particulars about the 2014 Corvette Stingray pace car were spelled out in a press release emphasizing that very little was needed to make it track ready:
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.
Chevy also noted that the 2014 Corvette Pace Car “features the track-capable Z51 package” that includes “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.”