April 26. 2003
It's two in a row for Purdue Grand Prix winner
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Timothy O'Brien, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering technology from Lebanon, Ohio, successfully defended his title as Purdue Grand Prix champion today (4/26).
Representing Wiley Hall, OBrien was in contention for the entire race and led the final 68 laps. He said he remained confident he would reclaim the victory and that he hopes to make history with two more wins."We're going for it, "OBrien said. " It'll be the first four-time winner. I hope it never ends."
Kelsi Guess, a freshman engineering major from South Elgin, Ill., took the lead in lap 81 shortly after a red flag brought the race to a halt for more than 20 minutes. A female has never won the race, and the crowd adopted Guess as a sentimental favorite. She bowed out of the race with just two laps to go.
O'Brien said he had a momentary scare when fuel ran low.
"I had to pit early when I ran out of gas," OBrien said. "They (the pit crew) were ready and on top of it."
O'Brien, whose team name was Excalibur 2," chased Adam Kasick, a senior liberal arts major from Munster, Ind. for the first third of the race before taking the lead in lap 50.
Nathan O'Rourke, a junior from Muncie, Ind. who is majoring in mechanical engineering, finished second. Kasick finished third. Victor Garcia, a senior from Ecuador majoring in horticulture, finished fourth; Nicholas Watt, a senior from Naperville, Ill. majoring in mechanical engineering technology and representing the Delta Chi fraternity finished fifth.
Thirty-three Purdue students competed in the event.
The flag was waived after Jeff Serrano, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering technology from North Pole, Alaska, lost control of his kart, which flipped over the bales. Serrano managed to escape injury. O'Brien reclaimed the lead in lap 92 and held on to secure the victory in the 50-mile, 160 lap race.
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 awarded 18 scholarships totaling more than $5,000 in the 2002-03 school year. The foundation receives support from Ford Motor Co., Coca Cola Co. the Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics.
CONTACT: Scott Ripberger, Grand Prix president (765) 494-2708, firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy O'Brien, (765) 495-5921, email@example.com
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; firstname.lastname@example.org
Timothy O¹Brien receives a congratulatory hug from his father, Mike O'Brien, after successfully defending his title in the Purdue Grand Prix kart race. O¹Brien, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering technology from Lebanon Ohio, was in contention for most of the race and led the final 68 laps. Thirty-three Purdue students competed in the 46th annual event today (Saturday, 4/26) on Purdue's West Lafayette campus. The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. (Purdue News Service Photo by David Umberger.)