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March 26, 2009

Racing technology on display April 23 at Motorsports on the Mall

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Racing fans can get an up-close look at a variety of racecars during the second annual Motorsports on the Mall event April 23.

The event, sponsored by the Purdue Motorsports Association, will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Purdue Mall (commonly known as the engineering mall), rain or shine. It is one of several activities planned during the week leading up to Purdue's annual Grand Prix kart race, which is April 25.

Vehicles scheduled to be on display include sprint and midget machines, a variety of National Hot Rod Association vehicles, and stock and open-wheel cars. Target Chip Ganassi racing will bring a Grand Am car and a cutaway Indy car that reveals the inner workings of the vehicle.

Andy Eckerle, president of the group, said the purpose of the second annual event is to increase awareness of the organization as well as the industry's connection to Purdue and Indiana.

"Students and some of the owners will accompany the cars to answer questions about them," Eckerle said. "It's a unique opportunity to become thoroughly familiar with your favorite race car."

The Indiana Motorsports Association also helped organize the event. Tom Weisenbach, the association's executive director, said the motorsports industry enjoys its partnership with Purdue.

"Purdue students have such a passion for racing," Weisenbach said. "We try to work with them hand in hand so that they have access to good job opportunities. Right now, Target Chip Ganassi racing has seven Purdue graduates working for them."

Motorsports organizations and teams who are interested in exhibiting their display cars or components can contact Eckerle at 812-630-8801 or aeckerle@purdue.edu.

The Purdue Motorsports Association is a student group focused on racing and the motorsports industry. The group offers technical presentations, information about internships and organizes visits to facilities such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It also annually builds a kart for the Grand Prix race.

Writers: Kim Medaris, 765-494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Marydell Forbes, 765-496-7704, mforbes@purdue.edu

Sources: Andy Eckerle, 812-630-8801, aeckerle@purdue.edu

Tom Weisenbach, 317-956-7803, tom@indianamotorsports.org

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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