Born in 1953, seven decades ago, the Corvette is a staple of America as much as Las Vegas casinos, Coca-Cola, or the trip to the Moon, among many others. And most aficionados know very well the icon is also an ardent racer through various iterations – but especially the C5 through C8 Rs, above all. Well, this time, we are not here to discuss any of them – even if the subject is still linked to motorsport.
Instead, as per tradition, General Motors and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Speedway, Indiana) joined forces to have one of the automaker's hottest products on the tarmac before the racing pack. As such, for the 34th time, a Chevrolet model is pacing "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" – aka the 107th Indianapolis 500 race since 1948. Also, this is the 20th time overall since 1978 that on and off-track duties are fulfilled by a Chevrolet Corvette – more precisely, the first-ever Corvette Z06 hardtop convertible.
Designed by Chevrolet's Performance Design Studio, the Corvette Z06 Convertible Pace Car has the special pace car lights integrated into the body, more precisely "into the nacelles behind the passenger compartment." Its main features include a Red Mist Metallic shade combined with the two-tone Jet Black and Sky Cool Gray interior and Torch Red details, plus unique dual body-length Black stripes with Tech Bronze accents, also present on the forged aluminum wheels.
"We are honored to be pacing the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 with the Corvette Z06 convertible," said Scott Bell, vice president of Global Chevrolet. "As we celebrate the rich history of the Corvette Pace Car at IMS, it's amazing to see the evolution of these cars on and off the track," added IMS President J. Douglas Boles. Naturally, the Corvette Z06 Convertible will set the pace with help from its most valued asset – the 5.5-liter LT6 V8 engine, which has the highest horsepower count of any naturally aspirated V8 engine on a production car.
It offers 670 ponies, and all of them will be kept on the right track with help from the Carbon Aero package, which delivers up to 734 pounds (333 kg) of downforce at 186 mph (299 kph), more than any other Corvette before it. As part of the regular 2023 IndyCar Series schedule, the annual Indianapolis 500 race will occur on Sunday, May 28.