Two General Motors engineers turned Kentucky streets into their own personal racetrack — reaching speeds up to 120 mph in new 2020 Corvette Stingrays as part of a stunt that earned them speeding tickets, state police said.
Alexander Thim, 27, and Mark Derkatz, 30, were pulled over after racing on Jan. 8 in Bowling Green, where GM has an assembly plant that manufactures the new sports car starting at $58,000 and other vehicles, according to an arrest report obtained by the Louisville Courier Journal.
Thim, who was driving a red Corvette, reached a top speed of 120 mph in a posted 45 mph zone on Lovers Lane, while Derkatz apparently lagged slightly behind at a clocked speed of 100 mph in a right lane, police said.
An unidentified driver was also behind the wheel of a third Corvette, which was blue, but that person didn’t take part in the illegal street race, police said.
The men told investigators that they were GM employees who visited Cue Time Cocktails and Billiards earlier that evening. A breath test detected the odor of alcohol on Thim and Derkatz, but neither was cited for driving under the influence, court records show.
The three Stingrays were “test vehicles,” WBKO reported.
“Safety remains our overriding priority at General Motors,” the company told the station in a statement. “We have no further comment.”
Automobile Magazine identified the rides as 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 prototypes — or cars that need a “racetrack” to fully show off their potential. In October, one C8 was clocked going from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds during a 11.1-second quarter mile at 123 mph, Motor Trend reported.
Thim and Derkatz, meanwhile, are not United Automobile Workers union members, labor officials told the station.
Thim, a three-year GM employee, worked for the company until earlier this month as part of its chassis/powertrain resolution team for the 2020 Corvette, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Derkatz, who joined GM in 2016, is the co-chair of the Corvette’s electrical issue resolution team, his LinkedIn profile states.
The pair, who appeared in court last week, was charged with racing a motor vehicle on a public highway, reckless driving and speeding 26 mph over the speed limit or greater. They were released after posting bail and are due back in court on Feb, 18, the Courier Journal reported.