Vette Videos: Hot Lap Action With the 2012 Indy 500 ZR1 Corvette Pace Car

Dateline: 5.25.12

Ryan Briscoe take a blast in the 2012 60th Anniversary ZR1 Indy 500 Pace Car – calls it, “One hell of a race car!”

This weekend is the 96th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Motorsports, the Indy 500. Over the years, some of the cars that pace the race have become stars themselves. And none more that the Corvette Indy Pace Cars. After all, the Indy 500 is America’s race and the Corvette is America’s high performance sports car, so the relationship is a natural. This will be the 11th time (‘78, ‘86. ‘95, ‘98, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ‘07, and ‘08) a Corvette has served as the official Indy 500 pace car.

The last time a Corvette served as an Indy 500 pace car was in 2008 when not one, but two unique Indy Pace Car Corvettes were on hand. A black and silver version was available as an option for Corvette buyers, with 234 Coupes and 266 convertibles sold that year. But the actual pace car was an experimental, Gold Rush Green Z06 running on E-85 fuel. This unique paint was a brilliant candy gold that changed into candy lime green depending on the light and angle of view. I thought for sure this might be a prototype paint for a possible future paint option, but so far it’s been a no show. After all, special optional paint available for all production Corvettes has been around since the ‘99 Magnetic Red Metallic paint (RPO 86U) with a price tag of $500. Perhaps we’ll see Gold Rush paints on the C7? We’ll see.

What’s really interesting about the ‘12 Indy 500 ZR1 Pace Car is that it is the most powerful car to ever pace the 500. Time was that the actual Indy race cars didn’t have 638-horsepower and topping speeds of over 200-mph was mind boggling! Fast forward to today, and we have a mass-produced automobile with all the creature comforts imaginable, packing 638-horsepower that you can live with, that’ll do 205-mph, AND has a governor on the car so that its speed will not exceed the body’s aerodynamic stability. At least, that’s what Chevrolet says about the 205-mph limiter.

Now, consider the fact that qualifying speeds as of late have been in the 225-mph range, with actual race speeds in the 218-to-225-mph range. That means that the pace car is just a few ticks SLOWER than the race cars and if the governor was removed, the ZR1 Pace Car would most likely be at least as fast as the race cars! WOW! Harley Earl, Ed Cole, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Bill Mitchell, and the other fathers of the Corvette would be thrilled!

Regardless, it’s all pretty heady stuff and sure makes it all fun! Enjoy the video and enjoy the race!  – Scott

PS – Ryan Briscoe qualified No. 1 with a speed of 226.484-mph.

PSS – Check out our line of Indy 500 Corvette Pace Cars HERE.

Related Posts:
NEW Corvette Prints! The Corvette Box of Candies, HERE.

The Most Powerful Indy 500 Pace Car EVER – 2013 60th Anniversary ZR1 Corvette, HERE.

The Very Rare, Non-Replica Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars, HERE.

1995 Indy 500 Corvette Pace Car – The First “Designer” Indy 500 Corvette, HERE.

Corvette Pace Car Files: 1986 Indy 500 Pace Car Corvette, HERE.

Also, we have new 1×3 vertical and horizontal layoputs of the Corvette Indy 500 Pace Cars HERE.

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