Grand Prix has turned into a reason for Purdue students to spend the week partying and having fun but it did not start out that way. Since the annual Grand Prix event is about to race for its 60th year I thought I would share some interesting facts about the history of Grand Prix.
- The Grand Prix race was started by Engineering students as a way to showcase their skills and give what they learned in the classroom some real-life application.
- Money raised from the event goes toward scholarships given to Purdue students.
- James Moneyhun was the first winner of the Grand Prix race.
- The first race was raced on the North Intramural Field.
- The new track which is located at the corner of McCormick Road and Cherry Lane and was modeled after the World Kart Championship Track in Japan.
- Purdue Auto Club was the original sponsor of the event but after the club was dismissed, a new club was created to take over the event. The new club is the Grand Prix Foundation.
- The Grand Prix Foundation turns 52 years old this November.
- The last Grand Prix Queen to be crowned was in 1994. The tradition is back this year for the 60th anniversary and to bring more awareness to the actual race.
- Liz Lehmann was the first woman to win a Grand Prix race. She won in 2007 during the 50th race.
- The current Grand Prix track cost one million dollars to build and is one of the premier kart facilities in the country.
The race consists of 160 laps and 33 cars. The main race is Saturday April 22nd at 2:30pm but the track is open to the public at 8:30am. You can buy pre-sale tickets online for $5 or at the race for $10 each.