IUPUI's Deister wins 55th annual Grand Prix
Blake Deister and members of his crew celebrate Saturday (April 21) after winning the 55th annual Grand Prix. Deister, a junior from Mooresville, Ind., drove for the MKP team of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Blake Deister of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis won Saturday's (April 21) 55th annual Purdue University Grand Prix race.
Drivers from IUPUI finished in the top three positions, and it is the third consecutive year an IUPUI driver has won the race. Justin Penix of IUPUI won in 2010 and 2011.
Deister, driving for the MKP team, started from the pole position and led all but about nine laps midway through the race when he made a pit stop. Wayman Brown, driving for IUPUI #1, finished second.
"The key is to be as smooth and as patient as possible," said Deister, a junior from Mooresville, Ind., studying computer science. "Sometimes you think that you can pass, but you just have to be patient and find the right time.
"Making sure everything with the car is correct is another key, and my group did a great job of that."
Brown, a senior from Odon, Ind., studying mechanical engineering, knew early in the race that it would be difficult to catch Deister.
"You never want to say, 'Let's get second place.' You just want to stay with it and see what happens," Brown said. "There was quite a bit of good racing going on for the other positions."
Blake Deister of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis won Saturday's (April 21) 55th annual Purdue University Grand Prix race. Deister started from the pole position and led all but about nine laps midway through the race when he made a pit stop. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)
Patrick Nirschl of IUPUI #2, a freshman from Zionsville, Ind., majoring in engineering and technology toward a motorsports degree, finished third. Colin Swingler from Kappa Sigma, a senior from Carmel, Ind., studying mechanical engineering, finished fourth. Nathan Keen of the Halberdier Club, a senior from Greenfield, Ind., majoring in mechanical engineering, was fifth.
Drew Feustel, a Purdue alumnus and NASA astronaut, was grand marshal for the Grand Prix. In a prerace ceremony, Feustel presented Purdue President France A. Córdova the Purdue banner that he took into space on a shuttle mission in 2011.
Official results from the 2012 Grand Prix will be released Monday (April 23), following a standard review by the race's scoring board.
Also on Saturday (April 21), Dave Fuhrman won the Classic Alumni Kart race (pre-1986 karts) and Jeffery Birke finished first in the Modern Alumni Kart Race (post-1986 karts).
Grand Prix Student Ambassadors presided over race-related events. They are Vignesh Gouthaman, who's studying mechanical engineering, and Jacob Stevens, who's studying agricultural systems management.
Among their duties, ambassadors serve as spokespeople for the Grand Prix Foundation and encourage race support and business sponsorship. The ambassadors each received a $1,000 scholarship from the Grand Prix Foundation. Fourteen other students received scholarships ranging from $250-$750.
The Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit group that conducts the kart race and related events to raise money for scholarships. The foundation also receives support from Lockheed Martin, Cottages on Lindberg and Coyote Logistics, as well as Bosch, Chauncey Square, Monster Energy, Wright Implement and Ford.
Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, email@example.com
Source: Kayla Peas, 765-652-3477, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Broadcast-quality B-roll and sound bites from the race are available for download and use from ftp://news69.uns.purdue.edu/Public/GrandPrix2012/
For more information, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, 765-237-7296, email@example.com