Grey's Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey will drive the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible pace car at the 91st Indianapolis 500 on Sunday 27 May, it was confirmed this week.

Dempsey will bring the field of 33 starters to the green flag at the start of the race, adding another car to the list he has driven around tracks in the US in recent years.

Although best known as Dr Derek Shepherd on ratings success medical drama Grey's Anatomy, Dempsey is also co-owner of IndyCar Series team Vision Racing and contests both sportscar and off-road events. He finished a career-best fifth in the Koni Challenge Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on 15 April, and his Hyper Sport team currently lies second in the series' driver and team standings.

"Most people recognise Patrick Dempsey from his on-screen endeavours but, among the racing community, where Chevy plays a role globally, he is known as a dedicated car and racing enthusiast," said Chevrolet general manager Ed Peper, "Being accustomed to high-performance cars and racetracks, he's a great candidate to drive the pace car, and he'll no doubt appreciate the Corvette's power and handling abilities."

This year's Indy 500 pace car will appear in Atomic Orange with distinctive gold ribbon graphics and Indy 500 logos.

"We're excited to welcome Patrick Dempsey as the pace car driver for the 91st Indianapolis 500," said IMS president Joie Chitwood, "In recent years, he has developed a strong bond with racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, so he truly understands and appreciates the pageantry, prestige and tradition of the Month of May and the Indianapolis 500."



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