News & Multimedia

Franchitti to Drive Camaro Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.

It’s the eighth time a Camaro has been the pace car, starting in 1967 – and the 25th time a Chevrolet has paced the race.



Franchitti won the Indy 500 in 2007, 2010 and 2012, and he is only the third driver ever to win at least three consecutive IndyCar titles – among four championships overall. Franchitti’s appearance in the Camaro Z/28 pace car signals a new start in his career as he embarks on a driver development role with Chip Ganassi Racing, which will use Chevrolet power in the 2014 IndyCar season.

“Dario is a true champion who has earned the respect of competitors and race fans alike,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. “It will be very special to have Dario lead the field to the green flag in the Camaro Z/28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

Said Franchitti: “It is a tremendous honor for me to be asked to drive the Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500. As a historian of motorsport and as a three-time winner of this great race, I will appreciate every minute of getting to pace the field in the new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. Although I won't be competing in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, this will be as close as one person can get to the action. I can't wait until May in Indianapolis.”

Chevrolet has a long, shared history with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis 500 and the Verizon 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.

“We are excited to have Dario Franchitti lead this year's Indianapolis 500 starting field to the green flag,” said J. Douglas Boles, president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Dario's appearance in the Camaro Z/28 Pace Car will be special for race fans and it underscores Chevrolet’s important place in the past, present and future of the Indianapolis 500.”

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. Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indy 500 in his Chevrolet-powered race car, leading Chevrolet to seven of the top 10 finishes – including the top four. Chevrolet also earned the IndyCar manufacturer championship titles in 2012 and 2013.

View Photo Gallery of the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

About the Camaro Z/28
The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the most track-capable model in its history, building on the legacy of the original SCCA Trans Am-series contender introduced in 1967. It is solely focused on track capability, with unique exterior elements designed like a race car to produce downforce that presses the car against the track for greater grip – up to 1.08 g in cornering acceleration – and faster lap times.

The aerodynamically optimized design helped the Camaro Z/28 log a 7:37 lap on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring road course – four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1 – and faster than published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.

Additional contributors to the car’s track performance include greater stopping power. The Z/28 features Brembo carbon ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration; consistent brake feel lap after lap; and reduced curb weight. The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass. In fact, 100 percent of the un-sprung mass – suspension, wheels, tires and brake system – has been changed from the Camaro SS, dramatically enhancing the balance and overall driving feel of the Z/28.

Power comes from the 7.0L LS7 engine, with dry-sump oiling, rated at an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). The engine is built by hand at the new Performance Build Center within GM’s Bowling Green, Ky. assembly plant.

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 4.9 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

.

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Franchitti to Drive Camaro Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car
 
Franchitti to Drive Camaro Z/28 Indy 500 Pace Car
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti will drive a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 to pace the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25.
Read More
Related Media
Justin Wilson
 
Wilson Joins Andretti Autosport For Indianapolis 500 and Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Justin Wilson will make his 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series debut in an Andretti Autosport car in the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9 and also compete in the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24, the team announced.
Read More
Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Verizon IndyCar Series Kicks Off This Weekend in St. Petersburg
It’s a dawn of a new era for the Verizon IndyCar Series this weekend as aero kits enter the sport’s lexicon. Years of work by IndyCar engine suppliers Chevrolet and Honda have resulted in new bodywork that not only provides different looks for fans to identify each brand, but has also raised the performance index of the 24 cars on the St. Petersburg grid.
Read More
Tamika Catchings
 
Indiana Fever Star Catchings Joins Contest Winners in Traditional Flag Placing Cermony at IMS
Three-time Olympic gold medalist and Indiana Fever standout basketball player Tamika Catchings and two local radio contest winners participated in the traditional placement of racing flags atop the famous Wing and Wheel logo located above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Gate 1.
Read More
Danville Fire Department
 
Rockwell a Hero Worthy of the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero’s Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard Nomination
Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles learned of Rockwell’s heroism recently on a visit to a fire station in Danville – Boles’ hometown – and nominated her for the vacancy in the Crown Royal presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard, the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup race held at IMS.
Read More
Al Unser
 
Al Unser Sr. Named Grand Marshal for Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) announced one of the greatest icons in the history of motor racing will serve as grand marshal for its June 11-14 Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser Sr. will return to the scene of his most legendary triumphs from a sterling career. Unser is one of only three drivers to win the “500” four times, and one of five to win the storied race in consecutive years, 1970-71. He narrowly missed becoming the only winner of three consecutive Indianapolis 500 races when he finished second to Mark Donohue in 1972.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,833
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
This week, IMS president @jdouglas4 nominated a hero for the @CrownRoyal #Brickyard400. More info: http://t.co/i4ZWu89Yoa
about 6 hours ago