SPEEDWAY: A longtime Indianapolis 500 tradition was renewed last week between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chevrolet when 33 directors of the 500 Festival received 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertibles on the IMS main straightaway.
The “Festival Event Cars” have reminded Indianapolis-area residents of the upcoming Indianapolis 500 since the 1960s, and this year’s fleet of unique Camaros will again turn heads as they are driven around Central Indiana.
“You know the Month of May is almost here when the Indianapolis 500 Festival cars are seen around the streets of Indianapolis and beyond,” IMS president J. Douglas Boles said. “Once again, our friends at Chevrolet have delivered a fleet of beautiful Chevrolet Camaro SS convertibles that will get fans even more excited for our historic 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.”
This year’s 500 Festival cars are based off of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible and are powered by the LT1 6.2L V-8, which offers 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque — making it the most powerful Camaro SS ever.
These event cars are not outfitted with all of the safety features that are required in an actual pace car.
“The pace car is the actual car that will pace the event,” Boles said. “It comes with a roll cage and a fire system and a lot of safety equipment that’s put in it to make sure it can pace the cars. These are replicas of the Chevrolet Camaro that would mirror a pace car. These cars are for the promotion of the event and the race, and the idea of a Camaro is a sports car. It has a lot of horsepower, so it still feels like racing. The pace cars themselves actually come with a lot of safety features because those guys are running at a significant speed.”
The festival cars feature a Hyper Blue exterior and an Abalone white stripe accent with a black convertible top and black leather interior. The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 graphic is featured prominently on the doors and includes the iconic IMS wing and wheel on the quarter panels.
“Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such a big part of Chevrolet’s history and we are proud to continue to have such a strong relationship with the track,” Jeff Chew, senior manager of strategic planning and operations for Chevrolet Racing, said.
Bob Bryant, 500 Festival president and chief executive officer, added, “As a non-profit organization committed to enriching lives and celebrating the impact of the Indianapolis 500, our board members travel throughout Indiana in the festival cars, participating in various community outreach programs and in our numerous events that draw in excess of 500,000 people annually. We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chevrolet and look forward to using the festival cars to further promote the community celebration leading up to the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.”
The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil is scheduled for May 29.