IRL: Indy500: 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada to pace the 500 this May

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 8, 2001 - Oldsmobile's 2002 Bravada will go where no SUV has gone before when it paces the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oldsmobile officials announced today in a...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, March 8, 2001 - Oldsmobile's 2002 Bravada will go where no SUV has gone before when it paces the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Oldsmobile officials announced today in a press conference in Detroit. The Bravada has made history as the first SUV selected as the Official Pace Vehicle of the Indy 500.

"The Oldsmobile Bravada joins a long line of firsts at Indy as the first SUV to pace the Indianapolis 500," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "The Bravada certainly fits with the 52-year tradition of Oldsmobile at the Brickyard."

The 85th running of the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" will mark the 11th time that an Oldsmobile has paced the Indianapolis 500 since 1949. The Bravada will be the first Oldsmobile Pace Vehicle powered by a six-cylinder engine - the new 270-horsepower, inline six Vortec 4200.

Like the Indy Racing Oldsmobile V8 racing engine that has won the Indianapolis 500 four straight years, the Vortec 4200 uses all-aluminum construction to reduce weight and four-valve cylinder heads with dual overhead camshafts to enhance performance.

"The cars that compete in the Indy 500 are finely tuned machines built for a single purpose - to run as fast as possible on a 2.5-mile oval," said Jim Vurpillat, brand manager for the Bravada. "The new Bravada chassis and suspension are just as carefully engineered to deliver the best of both worlds in comfort and vehicle dynamics."

Oldsmobile has been making history at the Brickyard for 52 years. The 1949 Oldsmobile 88 Pace Car was powered by the Rocket V8, a high-compression overhead valve V8 that won accolades from performance enthusiasts and stock car racers. In the 1970s, Oldsmobile paced the Indianapolis 500 with a series of 442 and Hurst/Oldsmobile muscle cars powered by 455ci Rocket V8s. Oldsmobile showcased its Quad 4 at the Speedway in the 1980s. The company raced, paced and won with the new Aurora V8 in 1997 and repeated that performance last year with the new 2001 Aurora sedan.

The 85th Indianapolis 500 gets underway Sunday, May 6 with Opening Day. Practice is scheduled for May 7-11, with the fight for the coveted pole position taking place Saturday, May 12. Second-day qualifications are scheduled for May 13, with Bump Day, the final day of qualifications, on May 20. Practice takes place in between those days on May 16-19. Coors Carb Day is scheduled for May 24, and the 85th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race gets underway at 11 a.m. (EST) on May 27.

<pre> OLDSMOBILE INDIANAPOLIS 500 PACE CARS Year Pace Vehicle Engine Pace Car Driver 1949 Oldsmobile 88 303ci Oldsmobile V8 Wilbur Shaw 1960 Oldsmobile 98 394ci Oldsmobile V8 Sam Hanks 1970 Oldsmobile 442 455ci Oldsmobile V8 Rodger Ward 1972 Hurst/Olds Cutlass 455ci Oldsmobile V8 Jim Rathmann 1974 Hurst/Olds Cutlass 455ci Oldsmobile V8 Jim Rathmann 1977 Delta 88 403ci Oldsmobile V8 James Garner 1985 Calais 2.7L Quad 4 James Garner 1988 Cutlass Supreme 2.3L Quad 4 Turbo Gen. Chuck Yeager 1997 Aurora 4.0L Aurora V8 Johnny Rutherford 2000 Aurora 4.0L Aurora V8 Anthony Edwards 2001 Bravada 4.2L Vortec 4200 TBA

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony George , Rodger Ward , Johnny Rutherford