April 13, 2017

Purdue Grand Prix set to celebrate 60 years on April 22

Logan-grandprix The 60th annual Purdue Grand Prix will see its first new winner in four years as 4-time winner Jimmy Simpson graduated and will not compete. (Purdue University Photo/Charles Jischke) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Grand Prix, or "The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing," is set to celebrate 60 years of competition on April 22 at the Purdue Grand Prix Track located at the Northwest Athletic Complex at Cherry Lane and McCormick Road.

Doug Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will serve as grand marshal for the event.

Boles was named president of IMS in 2013. He is responsible for daily operations at the facility, including all four world-class racing events that range from the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil to the NASCAR Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard.

Boles is a Butler University graduate with a law degree from Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis. The Indiana native also was a founding partner in Panther Racing, one of the Verizon IndyCar Series' most successful teams.

This year will guarantee a new winner as Jimmy Simpson, the winner of the past four grand prix, graduated and will not compete.

Qualifications will take place Saturday (April 15) and are free and open to the public. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and will close at 1 p.m. The qualification order is determined by a lottery drawing. The field is then split into groups that qualify in seven-minute sessions. The pole position is awarded to the fastest driver from those sessions, and the first 26 spots of the field are set.

The karts that did not qualify are split into three groups and will compete in heat races, with the fastest finishers filling the 33-kart field.

Grand Prix Day is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 21 at on Memorial Mall. There will be free donuts and pizza. There also will be a "Pie a Princess" event with the Indy 500 Princesses during the event.

Race day is set for April 22 with April 23 serving as a makeup day if weather forces postponement.

Gates open at 8:30 a.m., and the 160-lap main feature begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and are available now in the Grand Prix office in Stewart Center, Room G2; on the Grand Prix website; by emailing sales@purduegrandprix.org; or at various locations across campus. The price increases to $10 at the gate on race day.

A shuttle service is available from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on race day with pick-up locations from Ross-Ade Stadium, Tower Acres, Purdue Memorial Union and Wiley Dining Hall.

The event, sponsored by the Grand Prix Foundation, exists to raise funds for annual student scholarships and is organized by a volunteer staff of 12 senior board directors, two advisers and a junior board staff.

State Street Redevelopment Project construction is under way. This work will close a portion of State Street and significantly affect surrounding thoroughfares in West Lafayette. For construction and project information, visit http://statestreetwl.com.

Writer: Megan Huckaby, 765-496-1325, mhuckaby@purdue.edu

Source: Jacqueline Logan, director of public relations for the Purdue Grand Prix, 617-307-8358, publicrelations@purduegrandprix.org

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