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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing!!

It seems to me that the last 3 weeks of school become swamped with projects, exams, papers, more projects, and one fun event…GRAND PRIX!!! This year I have served as the Director of Sales for the Grand Prix Foundation. What exactly IS the Grand Prix Foundation, and this Grand Prix that I speak of?! Let me tell you!!

The Purdue Grand Prix is a time-honored tradition here at Purdue. In its 52nd year, the Grand Prix is a 50-mile, 150 lap go-kart race organized by a group of Purdue students (the Grand Prix Foundation). The purpose of the race is to raise money for scholarships. The Grand Prix Foundation gives over $10,000 worth of scholarships to deserving Purdue students every year. This year, we gave $11,000 worth of scholarship money to 17 students. All year long the Foundation board works hard to raise money from local and corporate sponsors, as well as to organize the race. This year we are also preparing for our first race on our brand new track! Due to the Mackey Arena renovations, the Grand Prix track was moved to the corner of Cherry Lane and McCormick Lane, behind the Northwest Tennis complex. The new track is wider than the old one, includes more straight-aways for drivers to gain speed, and also includes more hairpin turns that will all add up to one exciting race! Below you can see a picture of the new track in its early stages.

Each kart team consists of a driver, a 4-5 member crew, and a track worker. The teams build their own karts; they are not provided by Purdue or the Grand Prix Foundation. Many residence halls, fraternities, student organizations, and a sorority have karts entered in the 2009 race. This year we have 56 teams entered; more than we have ever had in the past!

Grand Prix is also the last big event on campus before finals. It is a time to celebrate springtime, as well as the end of a long winter and semester. The whole week prior to Grand Prix includes events on campus that get everybody excited for the best part of it all: the race on Saturday!! If you are interested in attending this year’s race, please go to the Grand Prix Foundation web site (http://www.purduegrandprix.org/) and fill out a pre-sale ticket order form. Tickets will also be on sale on campus from April 20-23rd in front of CL50 and MSEE, and on April 24th on Memorial Mall. Be sure to get your tickets early; they are $7 pre-sale compared to $10 at the gate!! See you at the finish line!!


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