April 25, 2021

Rookie driver wins Purdue Grand Prix race

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Rookie driver Jacob Peddycord won the 64th running of the Purdue Grand Prix race Sunday (April 25).

The karting race, dubbed the “Greatest Spectacle in College Racing,” took place on the Purdue Grand Prix Track adhering to Protect Purdue guidelines. Purdue President Mitch Daniels served as this year’s grand marshal.

Peddycord, 19, a freshman from Westfield majoring in mechanical engineering technology in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, completed the 160 laps in one hour, 13 minutes, topping 32 other student drivers. He is part of the Harrison Hall's Cavalier Club Racing team.

“I can’t believe it. As a freshman, it’s great. The team put in so much work,” Peddycord said. “The kart took a beating; that wasn’t part of the plan. But it survived the whole race, and it gave me an opportunity to win it, and I’m grateful for that.”

Peddycord started from the pole position.

One of the highlights of the team coming together was its persistent dedication to small details, ranging from hours in the shop and on the track and practicing.

“The team nailed the pitstop,” he said. “We spent a lot of time in the hallway just pushing it down the hall. We kept practicing, practicing and practicing until we got it where we wanted it.”

President Daniels talks with Calvary Racing team members Purdue President Mitch Daniels talks to members of Cavalier Racing before the start of the 64th running of the Purdue Grand Prix on Sunday (April 25). Cavalier Racing went on to win this year’s running, led by driver Jacob Peddycord. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood)

The team members scrambled to get the kart ready since the end of the fall semester, when it was confirmed that the race would happen.

“I made sure our team followed COVID protocols. If one of us gets COVID, then the whole team is under quarantine and we can’t race. None of us wanted to throw it away for something as simple as just keeping a mask on and following Protect Purdue.”

But after drinking some 2% milk in victory and celebrating with his teammates, Peddycord said he was emotional about the experience.

“I’m feeling a lot of emotions. I’m tired, thankful, through the roof happy, grateful for our sponsors and our team.”

This year’s race was presented by APTIV, a global technology company serving the automotive sector.

The annual event is sponsored by the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation. The foundation is built on the motto of “Students Helping Students” and works to raise over $10,000 annually to award in the form of scholarships. The foundation is a student-led organization and consists of 14 senior board directors, six advisors and a junior board staff.

The 65th running of the Purdue Grand Prix is scheduled for April 23, 2022.

For a complete listing of results, visit the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation’s website.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer, Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496, oatesw@purdue.edu, @mo_oates

Source: Molly Grotjan, president@purduegrandprix.org; Sami DeLey, public_relations@purduegrandprix.org

Journalists visiting campus: Journalists should follow Protect Purdue protocols and the following guidelines:

  • Campus is open, but the number of people in spaces may be limited. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you may be asked to step out or report from another location.
  • To enable access, particularly to campus buildings, we recommend you contact the Purdue News Service media contact listed on the release to let them know the nature of the visit and where you will be visiting. A News Service representative can facilitate safe access and may escort you on campus.
  • Correctly wear face masks inside any campus building, and correctly wear face masks outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible.

Note to journalists: Images of the 2021 Grand Prix Race are available for media use via Google Drive. B-roll will be available in the Google Drive folder later this evening. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

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