Delta Tau Delta's Simpson wins his second straight Purdue Grand Prix

April 26, 2014  

Jimmy Simpson milk

Jimmy Simpson of Delta Tau Delta enjoys a “drink” of milk while celebrating his victory in Saturday’s 57th annual Grand Prix race Saturday at Purdue University. (Purdue University Photo/Mark Simons)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Jimmy Simpson of Delta Tau Delta won Saturday's (April 26) 57th annual Purdue University Grand Prix race.

It was the second consecutive Grand Prix victory for Simpson, who last year became 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. He also becomes the Grand Prix's seventh multiple winner.

Starting from the pole, Simpson quickly took the lead on the opening lap and held it until lap 37 when SHPE's Jaime Ortega passed him. Ortega stayed in front for almost 30 laps until Simpson slipped past him between the first and second turns.

Simpson dominated the rest of the race, working his way through traffic and maintaining the lead even when he made a pit stop just past the midway point.

Nick Bartlett, driving for Royal Spa Racing 1, finished second.

Jimmy Simpson trophy

Jimmy Simpson looks at the trophies after winning Saturday’s 57th annual Grand Prix race Saturday at Purdue University. Driving for Delta Tau Delta, Simpson won his second straight Grand Prix. (Purdue University Photo/Steven Yang) 
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"The guys on my crew did an absolutely fabulous job, especially my Dad who was up until 3 this morning helping get the car ready," said Simpson, a junior from Indianapolis studying organizational leadership and supervision. "You can push hard early in the race, but it will eat up your tires. I just tried to keep it smooth and steady. Getting through traffic is the key to the race here, and I brought it home in one piece

Bartlett, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in mechanical engineering technology, called the race brutal, particularly in the first half.

"I qualified second and I'm happy to keep that spot," he said. "Jimmy's a great driver. I was happy to keep our car intact. There is so much traffic in the first part of the race that you just try to stay smooth and not crash. Then in the second part you can race."

Riley Warwick, of Royal Spa Racing 2, a senior from Indianapolis majoring in business administration, finished third. Greg Burns of Sigma Chi 1, a senior from Lafayette, Ind., studying mechanical engineering, finished fourth. Mike Perugini of Cary Racing 2, a junior from Watertown, Conn., majoring in computer science, was fifth.

Official results from the 2014 Grand Prix will be released Monday (April 28), following a standard review by the race's scoring board.

Albert Wurster, a Purdue alumnus who was involved with the Grand Prix, served as the event's grand marshal. Wurster, who earned a degree in building construction and contracting from Purdue, is president of Wurster Construction. 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.

Grand Prix Student Ambassadors presided over race-related events. 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 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, 

Source: Mary Farlow, director of public relations for Purdue Grand Prix Foundation, 260-571-8043,

Note to Journalists: Broadcast-quality B-Roll of the Grand Prix and the tricycle race can be found at For more information, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, at 765-237-7296 or

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