sealPurdue News

April 10, 2003

Sonya Margerum named Purdue Grand Prix marshal

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Organizers of the "Greatest Spectacle in College Racing" have named West Lafayette Mayor Sonya Margerum as grand marshal for the 2003 Grand Prix kart race on Saturday, April 26.

The 46th annual race will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Stewart Center, Room G2, or by calling (765) 494-2708. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the gate.

Scott Ripberger, Grand Prix president, says the tribute to Margerum, who is in her 24th year of serving as mayor, is overdue.

"With Mayor Margerum's retirement in November, the Grand Prix senior board decided to ask her to be this year's grand marshal," Ripberger says. "She has given Purdue Grand Prix a lot of support and enjoys coming to the race every year. Mayor Margerum is a perfect fit as a grand marshal."

Among the drivers registered for the 2003 Grand Prix is last year's winner Timothy O'Brien, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering technology from Lebanon, Ohio.

General practice began Saturday, April 5, on the kart track north of Ross-Ade Stadium. Qualifications will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday (4/12) and on Monday and Tuesday (4/14-15).

The fastest driver on the first day of qualifications will earn the pole position, and qualifications will determine 27 of the 33 starting positions. The final six spots on the starting grid will go to the top two finishers in each of three sprint races, which start at approximately 11:30 a.m. on race day.

The Grand Prix Student Ambassadors will preside over the events. They are Joshua Larsen, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering from Highland, Ind., and Andrea Baumer, a junior majoring in sales and sales management from Cambridge City, Ind. The ambassadors each received a $750 scholarship from the Purdue Grand Prix Foundation. Sixteen other students received $250 scholarships.

Gala Week, an annual celebration for reunion classes sponsored by the Purdue Alumni Association, also takes place at Purdue during Grand Prix weekend. Events include receptions, lunches and banquets for specific classes at most schools. For more information about Gala Week activities, contact Cathy Cobb at the Purdue Alumni Association, (765) 494-5178.

Grand Prix Day on the Memorial Mall will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 25. Highlights will include the Indy Racing Fan Experience, which features a kids' zone, pit stop challenge and racing challenge. Grand prix carts and drivers also will be present. Other attractions include a climbing wall, product giveaways and information booths. A Battle of the Bands concert, sponsored by the Purdue Student Union Board, begins at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall.

The Indy Racing Fan Experience also will take place near the Grand Prix track on race day from 10 a.m. until the race's conclusion.

The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the kart race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. The foundation also receives support from Ford Motor Co., Coca Cola Co., Kimberly Clark Corp., Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics, WKHY-B102.9 and the Indy Racing Fan Experience.

CONTACT: Ripberger, (765) 743-3471,; Jeff Duncan, Indy Racing Fan Experience event media coordinator, (317) 492-8621,

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media badges for the Purdue Grand Prix will be available at the track. To request a media badge, contact Grand Prix promotions director Andy Eick, (765) 743-5500,

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