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Excited for the Indy 500? ‘The greatest spectacle in racing’ takes place in three weeks, and if you’re tuning in, this is the pace car you’ll see leading the 33 competitors around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Naturally, it’s American. And blatantly it has absolute bootloads of power. It is, as you’ve surely twigged, a Corvette Z06.

It will be the 13th time a ‘Vette has been pace car in 99 Indy 500s. And fittingly the latest is also the most potent yet, the supercharged Z06 pumping out a not inconsiderable 650bhp, making it as powerful as the cars it’ll be leading, albeit with twice as much weight to propel.

All that sets the Indy 500-leading Zee-oh-six apart from its showroom-dwelling relations is its stickers and strobe lights, adding some welcome authenticity to a high-profile and probably rather noisy dose of publicity.

At its helm will be Jeff Gordon, a Nascar racer with a fairly stocky CV at the Indianapolis speedway. Alongside Michael Schumacher, he’s the only driver to have lifted five trophies there.

It’s the 14th year straight in which a Chevy has enjoyed pace car status. While Indy 500 legend Dario Franchitti took the wheel of a Camaro Z28 last year, previous drivers have come from outside the world of motorsport, Morgan Freeman and Lance Armstrong both driving Corvettes. Though it shouldn’t surprise you to learn the latter was nearly a decade ago now…

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