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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A former race car driver who was paralyzed in an accident will get to return to the track at the Indy 500 once again.
General Motors is once again providing the pace car for the legendary Indy 500, and this year a three-time winner of the race will be driving it.
The world’s most famous and prestigious race will be kicking off this weekend and you can catch all the Indy 500 action live streaming online.
The 97th Indianapolis 500 is storming the motorsport field by storm this weekend with the festivities kicking off Sunday, May 26 at 9:30 am EST with the 500 Festival Princesses Lap.
This year’s Indianapolis 500 will not only have a special guest pace car, but also a special pace car driver in the form of Super-Bowl runner-up San Francisco 49ers head coach, Jim Harbaugh.
The 2012 Indy 500 race will undoubtedly be an exhilarating one, airing on ABC with the flag dropping at 12:12 pm EST today.
To capture this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500, ESPN will be introducing several new video technologies, deploying more than 80 cameras to capture the famous IndyCar race.
Formula 1 racing veteran Rubens Barrichello will officially be joining KV Racing Technology to make the move from F1 to IndyCar racing.
“We are kind of pinching ourselves, it’s a dream to be bringing Rubens to our team,” KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser said.
“I had always promised to my wife, Silvana, that I wouldn’t race on ovals,” Barrichello said. “But we talked a lot and in the end she said that she wouldn’t interfere if this was really what I wanted to do. I think my two sons were actually the ones who helped convince her.”
Initially, he said the plan wasn’t to run in all 16 races on the IndyCar circuit, but instead to solely run in the Indy 500. It seems that Barrichello changed his mind after deciding it would be too hard to sit at home and watch someone else in his car.
“This wasn’t expected at all at first,” he said. “But it kind of evolved after the first test and now I’m really happy to be starting this new phase in my life,” he said.
KV Racing isn’t the only party excited to have the racing legend changing veins. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard also acknowledged the draw Barrichello is likely to command in the coming season.
“There’s not a person in the world who knows racing that wouldn’t tell you that Rubens Barrichello is one of the greatest drivers of all time,” he said in a statement. “That will create great competition and expands our international platform. There will be millions of fans that will want to see what Barrichello can do.”
[Source: USA Today]
One of only 5,700 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo Pace cars is up for sale, in mint condition and clearly a nice collectible. It sports only 11,285-miles on the odometer with an asking price of $29,900 – which is a killer deal for any classic car collector. The Turbo Pace Car was built to commemorate the first time one car paced both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500 in the same year.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 301 V8 with 236-hp and 345 lb-ft of torque, and like the rest of the car has been untouched. Maintenance was done on the vehicle from 1980 all the way to 2011, with the only major restoration that was done recently was a fresh paint job of GM Cameo White. All body panels are original and straight, and the Oyster interior features optional doeskin vinyl with hobnail cloth inserts, all of which are in excellent condition.
Check out a video showcasing this beauty after the break.
GALLERY: 1980 Trans Am Turbo Pace Car
[Source: RK Motors Charlotte]
Reports are coming in that Danica Patrick is leaning towards a full-time move to NASCAR for 2012, running a full Nationwide Series with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with Tony Stewart’s team. One shake-up in any agreement with Patrick however is that she still desires to run in the Indy 500 even if it complicates her Nationwide championship hopes.
“I would like for her to run fulltime, and I’m sure she is considering that, and I think she would enjoy it,” said JR Motorsports co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. peaking at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I feel confident that she’s content where she is and happy with what we’re doing. I think things are looking positive for us to put something together.”
It appears that Patrick’s NASCAR driving aspirations are positive, with both Stewart and Earnhardt Jr. giving her plenty of praise and both looking forward to getting her behind the wheel of their race cars. Whether or not a deal can be worked out so that she can juggle the busy schedule involved with the Indy 500 during the month of May makes things interesting for Patrick’s 2012 season.
[Source: Associated Press]
Despite pulling off the record-setting 332-foot jump during the Indy 500 flawlessly, Tanner Foust took several practice attempts in the custom Team Hot Wheels truck, one of which very nearly ended in disaster.
Taped for your enjoyment, the video highlights that Foust’s skill was put to the test each practice run. You’ll see some awesome footage of the truck getting as close as possible to flipping – we really can’t imagine how much closer you could get than this. This video just proves these jumps aren’t just a simple equation of physics and smashing the foot on the gas pedal.
Check out the video after the jump.
It’s just three days away and what better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the running of the Indianapolis 500 than by buying a shiny (and expensive) new watch?
To commemorate the big day, Tag Heuer has released a new limited edition ticker, named (you guess it) the Limited Edition Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph.
Design cues include three dials that mimic a race car’s dash, an Indy 500 logo and a face designed to look like the Brickyard’s famous start-finish line.
Just 1,000 of these shiny mementos will be made and at $1,650 we can think of worse ways to spend your money than on a nice watch that will most certainly become a collectors item.
Want to make sure that your letter gets to is destination fast? Put an Indy 500 Centennial stamp on the envelope.
The Forever Stamp celebrates 100 years of racing and features the Marmon “Wasp”, driven by Ray Harroun, winner of the first Indy 500. The historic event took place on May 30, 1911 to a crowd of 80,000, when Harroun beat 39 other drivers to win with a time of 6 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds
“At the Postal Service, we understand the power of our stamps in celebrating American history and culture — in this case, the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “I won’t be so bold as to predict the winner of the race, but I will predict that 50 or 100 years from now the U.S. Postal Service will issue another stamp to commemorate the next milestone anniversary of this great event.”
The stamp made its first appearance at a ceremony with the mayor of Indianapolis, Postmaster General Patrick Donahue, and 1974 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Poncho Carter. You can pick up these stamps at your local post office, or order them online at usps.com/shop. For all you collectors, if you order them in the next 60 days, you’ll be guaranteed a book of first-day-of-issue stamps.
Just over a week until the running of the Indianapolis 500 and Chevrolet has released a history in pictures to help celebrate 100 years of shared history since Arthur Chevrolet got behind the wheel in the inaugural running of the great American race.
Just a few months later brother Louis and Buick racing team owner Billy Durant incorporated Chevrolet Motor Car Co. in Detroit. By 1915 Louis got out of the car building enterprise to focus on racing, competing at the 1915 Indianapolis race and again in 1919 with brother Gaston. A year later, Gaston took the checkered flag in his Monroe-Frontenac.
Since 1945 Chevrolet has been heavily involved in the Indy 500 race, competing from 1986-93 and 2002-05, winning 104 races and seven victories. And let’s not forget a history of pace cars, with a Chevrolet as the official pace car 21 times in the past. Making it 22 this year will be a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, inspired by the ’69 Camaro pace car’s white exterior and orange stripes. And like in the past, Chevy will offer a limited edition version of that car for sale, with just 500 units being built.
But Chevy’s involvement in future Indy 500 races won’t be limited to just pace cars with the automaker announcing a new twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter V6 engine that will power Team Penske (among others) during next year’s racing season.
GALLERY: Chevy and Indy Celebrate 100 Years of Shared History
A widespread outcry by race fans and Indianapolis residents has led to Donald Trump being given the boot from the Indy 500 pace car drivers seat.
Trump was scheduled to drive a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible at this summer’s race. While Trump claimed earlier that he would not back down from the opportunity, race organizers are apparently meeting to discuss how to prevent The Donald from taking his place at the Brickyard. Organizers discussed various options from replacing Trump with another celebrity, to changing the actual pace car and bringing in a new driver. Trump allegedly decided to bow out himself using the excuse of time constraints to justify his exit. Organizers say that a new driver will be announced later this month.
Donald Trump is set to join the illustrious list of Indy 500 Pace Car drivers when he slides behind the wheel of a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS at the quintessential American motorsports event.
The Camaro SS Pace Car, announced earlier this year, will be a convertible model, and that gives us extra incentive to tune in. We can’t wait to see how the Donald’s hair holds up at triple digit speeds.
[Source: New York Post]
Taking a page from the Ford Mustang playbook, GM is set to launch a torrent of Chevrolet Camaro special editions on a bi-annual basis. After the Camaro ZL1 will be a special edition Camaro based on the car set to appear in the newest Transformers movie, followed by a replica Indy 500 pace car, and then a Camaro Synergy model, which will give V6 buyers all of the V8s performance upgrades sans the small-block mill – sort of like the previous Camaro RS models.
Those new models should carry the car through to 2014, but after that, it’s anyones guess. While so many variants may prove to be distracting, it’s also a cost effective way to keep the Camaro fresh long after the novelty of the car has worn off, and “early adopters” have snapped up the car during the initial excitement.
[Source: Automotive News]
Chevrolet has announced that the Camaro SS Convertible will be the official 2011 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. White with orange stripes, the car is styled after the ’69 Camaro pace car with 50 special edition models slated to be built.
The first of the 50 will be auctioned off through the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale event this Saturday, with the car being officially unveiled there tonight.
All proceeds from the sale will go to the David Foster Foundation, which works to help the families of children who need organ transplants.
As for the car itself, along with the Summit White paint and orange stripes, it gets the obligatory door graphics, orange leather interior, white door panels and instrument trim with orange stripes. In short, it’s about the only thing more badass than the three wolf moon shirt.
GALLERY: 2011 Indy 500 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible Pace Car
Official release after the jump:
Chevy has announced it will offer a limited number of Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car replicas for sale through select dealers. Based on a Camaro 2SS model with an RS appearance package the car also gets 20-inch wheels, White Pearl rally stripes, on Inferno Orange front grille, Inferno Orange engine cover, special floor mats, 2010 Indianapolis 500 logos on the doors, front fenders and embroidered on the headrests. Unfortunately, it seems the car will only be offered as an automatic transmission model with the slightly less powerful 400-hp engine.
Pricing for the 2010 Camaro Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Replica Limited Edition is set at $41,950 (including $850 for shipping). Just 200 of the limited edition vehicles will be offered through 187 of the top-selling Chevy dealerships.
The car marks the fourth time Chevy has offered a replica of a Camaro pace car, with past models being offered in 1969, 1982 and 1993.
The actual pace car will be driven by Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America,” during the this year’s Indianapolis 500, on May 30th.
GALLERY: Chevy Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car
See after the jump for the official release and a list of all 187 dealerships: