Crashes in IndyCar have become a part of life, for better or worse. Crashes on the pace lap are a lot more rare. A crash involving the pace car — on the pace lap — is a whole other type of absurdity.
Such was the case at the Detroit Grand Prix on Sunday, and even with the benefit on context, there’s little about this story that isn’t silly.
The pace car in Detroit was a beauty of a Corvette ZR1 priced at a cool $120,000 and it has surely devalued since hitting the track and heading straight into the wall.
All airbags appeared to deploy and no one was injured in the incident. That’s the good, and most important, news.
The bad news is, well, how poorly this all looks. The cost to repair the car remains unknown at the moment, but considering the driver was General Motors Vice President Mark Reuss, we can assume he’ll at least get a discount at the shop — or at the least get the damage taken out of his paycheck.
From an optics standpoint this has got to be a bit of a nightmare for GM. It’s not enough that their VP crashed their car on national television in the city where the company is based, Reuss happened to spin into the wall underneath a banner promoting Chevrolet cars.
The best thing to do here might just be to own it. Say the car spun out on a racetrack and emphasize that Corvettes should be driven responsibly. Focus on the safety features here working properly and show what steps the company is taking to improve upon that.
Or just own this as a stupid mistake from a celebrity driver on a professional course.
Either way, there’s no escaping the blame.
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