GM’s Mark Reuss Apologizes for Crashing Corvette ZR1 Pace Car

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Corvette ZR1 Pace Car crash Mark Ruess

Although clearly an accident, the GM exec apologized for crashing the Corvette on Detroit’s Belle Isle.

The 2018 IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix was run on the city’s Belle Isle road course last weekend, but the biggest news focused on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car. After General Motors executive Mark Reuss lost control and crashed hard, the internet was ablaze with discussions about how he could have made this mistake. According to The Drive, led the vice president of global product development felt the need to issue an apology for the accident.

Pace Car Crash

While IndyCar has its fans around the country and around the world, this open-wheel racing series doesn’t get the attention of some other motorsports in the United States. Many people in Metro Detroit have never been to Belle Isle for the weekend-long racing event and in some cases, the race comes and goes without much attention outside of the IndyCar world.

However, the 2018 Detroit Grand Prix was different. Come the Monday morning after the race, the Motor City IndyCar race was the talk of the town, but sadly, it was not because of the racing action. The hottest news early in the week focused on the fact that the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 pace car crashed before the field had actually started racing.

Corvette ZR1 Pace Car crash Mark Ruess

With GM’s Mark Reuss at the wheel, the field followed the Corvette ZR1 pace car through the second turn, but all of the race cars came to an immediate half as the Chevy supercar spun coming out of the second turn – slamming hard into the outside wall. Reuss and his passenger were fine and a second car would serve as the pace car for the rest of the day, but as news of this embarrassing situation traveled around the internet, Reuss was the subject of a ton of undeserved internet trash talk.

The Blame Game

Many people who are clearly unfamiliar with Mark Reuss’ experience behind the wheel of high performance cars – including plenty of time piloting pace cars – went on and on about how this showed why executives shouldn’t be driving high performance cars. The automaker blamed track conditions and the weather, but the internet was unrelenting in blaming Reuss for the accident.

Evidently, he took all of those comments to heart, as later in the week, Mark Reuss took to Facebook to apologize for the accident.

“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 Z06s, Grand Sports, and other things. It is never a casual thing for me, but an honor to be asked,” said Reuss on his personal Facebook account. “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.”

It seems a bit ridiculous for this experienced driver to face such harsh criticism for a high speed auto accident, but in accepting responsibility and issuing that formal apology – he has taken the high road rather than making excuses. It is hard to really blame the guy for the mistake that led to the crash, but he is owning up to it and that is likely to make the whole situation go away more quickly.

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Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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