57th Purdue Grand Prix set for April 26

April 9, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's 57th Grand Prix race will take place April 26 at the Grand Prix track on campus, near the corner of McCormick Road and Cherry Lane.

Albert Wurster, a Purdue alumnus who was involved with the Grand Prix, will serve as grand marshal for the event. Wurster, who earned a degree in building construction and contracting from Purdue, is president of Wurster Construction. He has served on the boards of the Metropolitan Indianapolis Coalition for Construction Safety and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana.

While at Purdue, he was crew chief for the Sigma Nu Grand Prix team in 1982 and 1983, and was on the Junior Board Race Committee in 1985. He was race chairman for the 1986 event.

"We're honored to have someone as successful as Albert Wurster, who was heavily involved in the Grand Prix, as our grand marshal this year," said Mary Farlow, director of public relations for the Grand Prix Foundation.

Jimmy Simpson, a junior from Indianapolis studying communication, won the 2013 Grand Prix, becoming the first driver to win both the "gas" Grand Prix and the Purdue Electric Vehicle Grand Prix. In 2012 he won both the evGrandPrix at Purdue and the Purdue Collegiate evGrandPrix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This year, 33 student drivers will compete for the trophy in what has been called the "Greatest Spectacle in College Racing."

Qualifications will take place April 19. Practice for qualifications starts at 11:30 a.m., and the main time trials are at noon. The top 27 qualifiers will be in the main event on race day. Top finishers in three qualifying sprints will fill six other slots on race day. The top two karts from each sprint race on April 26 will enter the main event to round out the 33-kart starting grid. The rain date for qualifications is April 20.

The 160-lap feature race starts at 2:30 p.m. April 26 with driver introductions and the national anthem. Pits are open to the public from 8:30-9:45 a.m., and track seating is open to the public at 8:45 a.m. Practice is from 9:55-10:50 a.m. Heat races start at 11:30 a.m. Free shuttle service will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with pick-up locations at Ross-Ade Stadium, Stewart Center and Wiley Dining Hall.

Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the gate. Tickets for children under age 12 are $5.

Advance tickets will be on sale Saturday and Sunday (April 12-13) during Purdue's Spring Fest at the Grand Prix tent on Memorial Mall. Ticket sales will continue April 21-24 in Stewart Center, Room G-2; Lilly Hall; outside of the Class of 1950 Lecture Hall; and on the Engineering Mall. Tickets will be available April 25 on John Purdue Memorial Mall. Tickets also can be purchased by emailing sales@purduegrandprix.org

Grand Prix Student Ambassadors promote the event leading up to the race. They are Persephone Kriner-Sotos, a senior and second-year professional student in the College of Pharmacy, and Lance Kruger, a senior in the College of Pharmacy who is in his second professional year of the curriculum.

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. Eighteen other students received scholarships ranging from $250-$750.

The Grand Prix Foundation will host a recognition and victory banquet at 6 p.m. April 28 in the Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom. All drivers and team members are invited to attend. Drivers and team members planning to attend should RSVP to promotions@purduegrandprix.org by Sunday (April 20).

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 Winfield, Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, Aero Engine Controls, Sabic, Subway, Baked, WAZY, WLFI, Hungry Boiler, Bill DeFouw Chevrolet, Wright Implement, Koch Industries Inc., Buffalo Wild Wings, and Orange Leaf.

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-496-9711, gmcclure@purdue.edu 

Source: Mary Farlow, director of promotions for Purdue Grand Prix Foundation, 260-571-8043, promotions@purduegrandprix.org

Note to Journalists: Media interested in covering the race should contact Mary Farlow, director of public relations for the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation, at 260-571-8043 or promotions@purduegrandprix.org


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