GM Head of Product Development Crashes Pace Car at Belle Isle

In the best tradition of tight, winding road courses, there was a noteworthy accident at this weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix. This year’s accident wasn’t in one of the cars that you’d expect, though. Nor was it the driver who you’d expect.

Rather than being one of the Indy cars, the car that lost it, sending the back round and pushing the front end into a barrier was the pace car. And the driver was Mark Reuss, GM’s head of product development.

The crash happened before the start of the race, as Reuss was leading the pack out of the pit lane. The corner had a crest in the middle of it and from the lead car’s onboard footage, it looks like the Corvette started to pull away from the pack, which, along with the sudden bump may have unsettled the car, sending it into the barrier.

Although the crash was unusual, it was reasonably mild. The front of the ZR1 looks a little worse for wear, but Reuss was unhurt (though it may take his ego a few weeks to recover).

Chevy released the following statement following the race:

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

Reuss, meanwhile, added his own comments in a statement:

I want to thank you all for your well wishes today. I am ok. 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.

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