Pace Car, Inspirational?

Yesterday, during the IndyCar race at Watkins Glen, there were a number of caution laps.  These are laps when the competitors are required to slow down due to some sort of ontrack incident – essentially because of an accident or other unsafe situation.  These laps are lead by a pace car, usually a current model vehicle that may be modified for track use for safety reasons, and maybe some performance alterations. 

IndyCar Pace Car - Honda Accord Coupe

The IndyCar pace car is the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe.  For this vehicle, modifications include a safety roll cage and high-performance wheels and tires for racetrack use.  Hmmm, not what I would think of as a performance vehicle to lead the field on caution laps.  It looked nice, featuring a rich blue paint scheme (with some red & white thrown in for visibility), and “performance” IndyCar graphics.  I was willing to consider it.

Honda Accord Coupe

In fact, I saw a three Honda Accord Coupes on the way home from work, today.  I did not see these as inspirational vehicles.  I thought to myself, “Is this a vehicle I could see myself enjoying both as a daily driver AND a competative autocross vehicle on weekends?”  I came away thinking, not!

Oh well, so much for Honda’s insprational marketing…I don’t feel this model of Honda is Racing Ready.

Dan

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2 thoughts on “Pace Car, Inspirational?”

  1. I’ve always wondered who gets the pace car gig? And how well trained do they have to be? I’d guess they’re pretty good drivers, especially on real tracks with corners that go both ways as they’ve got to maintain some pretty good speeds through them.

  2. From what I’ve read, usually its a former, retired race car driver. For example, the great Emerson Fittipaldi drove the pace car, a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette (not the Honda Accord Coupe!), for the Indianapolis 500 this year. For the last season, the driver was the well-regarded CART driver, Johnny Rutherford. I haven’t been able to find out who is driving the IndyCar pace car this year.

    Does anybody else know and want to contribute? Thanks in advance!

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