Former IndyCar driver and owner Sarah Fisher will serve as a part time pace car driver for the 2016 IndyCar season. The announcement made this morning says that she will begin this weekend (March 13) as the 2016 season kicks off at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Fisher will join three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford who has had pace car duties since 1996. He has scaled back in recent years.
Rutherford will drive two oval races this year: Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway taking place on April 2 and the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 29.
Fisher will lead the field on the remaining 14 races. Fisher tells Indycar.com “I've lived for the sport of Indy car racing and when Jay (Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations) offered me the position to pace the field, I didn't think twice about my commitment again to the sport that I love."
Frye added “We couldn’t be more excited to have Sarah Fisher serve as a pace car driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series this year…Sarah’s been an integral part of INDYCAR as both a driver and a team owner and having her in this role is a tremendous asset to the Verizon IndyCar Series.”
Sarah Fisher became the youngest female to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 at the age of 19 in 2000. She would later go on to first female in IndyCar to take the pole position doing so at Kentucky Speedway in 2002. She set the track record in this qualifying run at 221.390 miles per hour, a record she still holds to this day.
Fisher has also seen success as an owner, and currently owns Speedway Indoor Karting in Speedway which plans on having their grand opening on April 1.
The 2016 IndyCar season kicks off Saturday March 13 in St. Petersburg, Florida with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.