The Detroit Grand Prix Indy race subsequently suffered a 27-minute delay.
There are many perks when you’re the executive vice president of global product development at General Motors. One of them is the chance to drive the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car at this year’s Detroit Grand Prix Indy car race. But here’s a tip: don’t crash. Too late for Mark Reuss who was behind the wheel of a 2019 Corvette ZR1 as it served its pace car duties when he lost control and slammed into a wall. Fortunately, both he and his passenger, IndyCar official Mark Sand, were unharmed and walked away from the crash.
Because of this, the start of the race was delayed by 27 minutes. A backup ZR1, driven by IndyCar veteran Oriol Servia, served as a quick replacement. “We are thankful that there were no serious injuries.
"Both the pace car driver and the series official were taken to the infield care center, where they were checked, cleared and released," according to a statement from General Motors. "It is unfortunate that this incident happened. Many factors contributed, including weather and track conditions. The car's safety systems performed as expected.” The front end damage to the car looks pretty bad and there’s no word yet whether it can be fully repaired or if it’s a complete write-off. Don’t worry, GM can easily absorb the loss. But can Reuss absorb the fact the crash was caught on live TV? Then again, a crash like this in a car like the new ZR1 can happen more easily than you’d think.
This year’s Indy 500 winner, Will Powell, commented after the race that that he “felt really bad for whoever was in the pace car. It’s very easy to do, and the traction control must have been turned off. Wasn’t really his fault.” Which begs the question: why was the traction control turned off in the first place?