For the fifth time a Corvette paced the Indianapolis 500 race, which was held this year on May 26th. A nearly-stock '03 50th Anniversary Edition model led the field in the 86th running of America's oldest race. The only deviations from the assembly line configuration were a custom cat-back exhaust system and added coolers for the transmission and power steering fluid.
Actor Jim Caviezel enjoyed the distinction of driving the Corvette Pace Car, in recognition of his starring role in the upcoming movie Madison. Scheduled for nationwide release on August 23rd, it's the true story of the 1971 Gold Cup Power Boat championships at Madison, Indiana.
In addition to the actual Pace Car, several dozen more Corvettes were in the spotlight at "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Two more 50th Anniversary Editions were present as backups for the Pace Car. Also, about 40 C5s served as Festival Cars, carrying dignitaries in the pre-race parade and related activities. These Corvettes, most of which were either yellow or silver, also did several exhibition laps on the speedway immediately prior to the race. In honor of Memorial Day, and as a way of saying thank you to the men and women in military service, the Festival Corvettes carried representatives from all branches of the United States armed forces. This, as well as serving as the Official Pace Car, was a most appropriate role for Corvette, still America's greatest sports car after nearly 50 glorious years.