58th Purdue Grand Prix set for April 25

April 16, 2015  

2014 Grand Prix milk

Jimmy Simpson enjoys a "drink" of milk while celebrating his victory in the 57th annual Grand Prix race April 26, 2014, at Purdue University. (Purdue University Photo/Mark Simons)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University's 58th Grand Prix will be run April 25 at the Grand Prix track on campus, near the corner of McCormick Road and Cherry Lane.

Brian Cardinal, a key member of the Purdue men's basketball team from 1996 to 2000 who also played for 12 years in the NBA, will serve as grand marshal for the event. Cardinal, who earned a bachelor's degree in management, was Purdue's Most Valuable Player his senior season and was a four-time recipient of the Ray Eddy "Mr. Hustle" Award, given annually to the Boilermaker who displays the greatest amount of determination, drive and leadership.

Cardinal set a school record with 259 career steals to go with 1,584 points and 749 rebounds. After Purdue, he enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. He was a member of the 2011 NBA champion Mavericks.

"We're excited to have Brian Cardinal, a great basketball player at Purdue and the epitomy of the true Boilermaker spirit, serve as grand marshal this year," said Brandon Brunt, director of public relations for the Grand Prix Foundation.

Jimmy Simpson, a junior from Indianapolis studying organizational leadership and supervision, won the 2014 Grand Prix, his second consecutive victory in the race. He is 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 Saturday (April 18). 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 springs will fill six other slots on race day. The top two karts from each spring race on April 25 will enter the main event to round out the 33-kart starting grid. The rain date for qualification is Sunday (April 19).

The 160-lap feature race starts at 2:30 p.m. April 25 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 18-19) during Purdue's Spring Fest at the Grand Prix tent on Memorial Mall. Tickets also can be purchased by emailing sales@purduegrandprix.org, and at the gate on the day of the race.

Grand Prix Student Ambassadors promote the event leading up to the race. They are Amy Burbrink, a junior in the College of Agriculture studying agricultural sales and marketing, and Cameron Mann, a sophomore in the College of Agriculture studying agricultural sales and marketing.

 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 26 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 19).

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 Delphi Electronics, SOGA, Wabash National, Subway, BRP, Monster, Triple X, Mike Raisor Ford, Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin, Bridgestone, Landis + Gyr, Hungry Boiler and Amazon. 

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

Source: Brandon Brunt, director of promotions for Purdue Grand Prix Foundation, promotions@purduegrandprix.org 

Note to Journalists: Media interested in covering the race should contact Brandon Brunt, director of public relations for the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation, promotions@purduegrandprix.org, bbrunt@purdue.edu 

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