GM’s Reuss offers no excuses for pace car crash

Posted by Talbot Payne on June 12, 2018

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Forgive General Motors product boss Mark Reuss if he wanted to call in sick Monday.

Reuss was the talk of Twitter when he put the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car into the wall Sunday, creating IndyCar gridlock behind him, and delaying the start of the race by a half-hour while Corvette bodywork was swept off the track.

Win on Sunday, sell on Monday? Not this time. The unusual pace car crash of Corvette’s $135,000, 755-horsepower pride and joy capped off a tough weekend for Chevy that saw Honda dominate the IndyCar engine wars.

More: Why the next Corvette pace car will be mid-engine

Reuss made no excuses. Taking to Facebook, he apologized for an incident that fortunately left everyone unscathed:

“I want to thank you all for your well wishes today. I am ok. I have driven this course many many many times. I have paced this race in the wet, cold, hot, and calm. On Z06’s, Grand Sports, and other things. It is never a casual thing for me, but an honor to be asked. Today I let down my friends, my family, Indycar, our city and my company. Sorry does not describe it. I want to thank our engineers for providing me the safety I know is the best in the world.”

If it’s any consolation, the pro drivers behind him were sympathetic. Scott Dixon, who had a good view of the crash from his fifth spot on the grid, observed that the Corvette wasn’t the only car to get sideways in tricky Turn 2.

“The track changes surfaces there,” said Dixon, who eventually finished fourth. “There’s actually a bit of elevation change there, too, which is what typically catches people out. We had a couple (IndyCars) spin out there this weekend.”

It’s not the first time a pace car has had trouble, Dixon mused to The Detroit News over breakfast Monday: “I think Toronto in 2014 was the last one with Arie Luyendyk (the two-time Indy 500 winner, not his “Bachelor” star son) spinning the Honda pace car in the rain.”

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