Red Wings Star To Drive Pace Car For Detroit ALMS Event
Eight-time NHL All-Star Nicklas Lidstrom Will Drive Corvette Z06 To Start Tomorrow’s Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch
DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings team captain and multiple Norris Trophy winner (top NHL defenseman) Nicklas Lidstrom will drive a 2007 Corvette Z06 to pace the start of the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch, part of this weekend’s Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. Lidstrom, one of the Red Wings’ top scorers of all time, will lead the American Le Mans Series field of 27 sports cars to a rolling start and lead a parade lap prior to the IndyCar race on Sunday in what are the first racing events in Detroit since 2001.
“In looking for a pace car driver for this event, we wanted somebody who really represents the city of Detroit,” said Ed Peper, Chevrolet general manager. “Nick Lidstrom, a local hockey hero, fit the bill perfectly, especially with his love of cars. We’re proud to have him behind the wheel of a Corvette Z06, Chevy’s flagship performance car, pacing an event that we’re so gladly welcoming back to the city.”
The red, white and blue Corvette Z06 pace car that Lidstrom will pilot is Chevrolet’s flagship performance car. The Z06 has a top speed of 198 mph and will go from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. With Corvette as the Official Vehicle of the event, not only will the pace car be representing the Detroit-based manufacturer here but a Corvette Corral will also be on site during the race weekend, and Chevy will have a large display in the Meijer Family Fun Zone. Most importantly, Chevy’s pair of Corvette C6.Rs that race in the GT1 class of the ALMS Series – the No. 3 C6.R of Johnny O’Connell and Jan Magnussen and the No. 4 C6.R of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta – are competing in GM’s backyard for the first time ever.
“I’m really excited about driving the pace car,” said Lidstrom. “I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m really looking forward to it. I actually haven’t driven the Z06 before but I am a fan of sports cars and I’ve heard a lot of great things about this particular Corvette so I know it will be a lot of fun.”
Lidstrom, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Red Wings, is entering his 16th NHL season having played more games (1,176) than any other active player. He helped the Wings to three different Stanley Cup championships and was honored with the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in five out of the last six seasons played. Also the only European-born player in the history of the NHL to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, Lidstrom is fifth all-time in Red Wings scoring with 868 goals and holds the Red Wings’ single-season record for assists and points by a defenseman. He is an eight-time NHL All-Star (post-season) and has made nine All-Star Game appearances.
Lidstrom joins the ranks of celebrities who have driven Chevrolet pace vehicles – comedian Jay Leno, baseball legend Cal Ripkin, Jr., and actor Patrick Dempsey have all driven Corvettes at major racing events over the last few years.
Release Date: August 31, 2007