The 2018 Detroit Grand Prix of Belle Isle was halted by a crash before the race even started - and it had nothing to do with one of the Indy Car drivers. The race was delayed by 27 minutes after the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 pace car drove into a wall during the parade lap. General Motors executive vice president of global product development Mark Reuss was behind the wheel. Both the driver and passenger Mark Sand, an IndyCar official, were unharmed and exited the vehicle after the incident.
"I want to thank you all for your well wishes today. I am ok," Reuss wrote on his personal Facebook page. "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."
Reuss is one of the better-known and well-regarded automotive executives with a genuine love of cars.
Prior to Reuss' own post, GM released its own statement.
"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. It is unfortunate that this incident happened. Many factors contributed, including weather and track conditions. The car's safety systems performed as expected."
Will Power, winner of this year's Indy 500, said after the race, "I 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."
A backup pace car was brought out, driven by IndyCar veteran Oriol Servià. Ryan Hunter-Reay went on to win the race.
- GM VP Mark Reuss apologies after crashing Chevy Corvette ZR1 pace car originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Jun 2018 20:50:00 EDT.