DETROIT, MI (06.13.2018) – Racing fans have seen plenty of crashes on Detroit’s Belle Isle course for the Detroit Grand Prix throughout the years, but perhaps none like the one that delayed the start of this year’s race by 27 minutes: the pace car crashed on the starting lap.
That pace car, a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, was driven by GM Executive Vice President Mark Reuss.
Reuss, an experienced driver, was leading the 12-car field through the opening lap of the second race when he lost control of the car in Turn 2, spinning the cobalt blue ‘Vette nose first into the wall with enough force to spray pieces of the car across the track.
Race officials dispatched crews to remove debris and hustled up the backup pace car while sending the racers back to the pits, giving crews time to examine their own vehicles to make sure there were no pieces of debris embedded in tires or other issues.
“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,” GM officials noted in a released statement.
“It is unfortunate that this incident happened. Many factors contributed, including weather and track conditions. The car’s safety systems performed as expected.”
An embarrassed Reuss, who was not injured during the crash, issued an apology later via Facebook.