Grand Prix race powered by ethanol-based fuel

BOWLING GREEN, O.—BGSU Motorsports will host the second annual BGSU Grand Prix featuring karts that run on ethanol-based E-85 fuel on Saturday (April 14) rain or shine.

The one-fifth-mile, six-turn road course will be in campus parking Lot N (sometimes called the “BGSU Intercollegiate Speedway”) adjacent to Memorial Hall and the Saddlemire Student Services Building off Ridge Street.

Produced with support from the Ohio Corn Growers Association and Ag Credit, the free event features Future Falcons and Junior Achievement kart races as well as the Grand Prix race for BGSU students. Practice and qualifying rounds in all three divisions begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Displays, food and other activities are also planned.

The Future Falcons race at 12:30 p.m., for children ages 4-8 in mini karts, covers 12 laps, or six miles. In the Toledo Junior Achievement Division, karts representing SSOE, a Toledo engineering firm, and the Toledo Fire Department Maintenance Division will compete in a 40-lap, or eight-mile event. The Junior Achievement race will start around 12:50 p.m.

Then, at 2:15 p.m., eight BGSU student karts will compete in the 60-lap, 12-mile Grand Prix event.

Grand Prix organizers believe it is unique in its combination of high-performance motorsports racing—one of the premier spectator attractions in the nation—with energy and environmental concerns.

“From what we have determined, last year's event marked the first organized motorsports event anywhere in this country that is fueled by E-85 made from renewable ethanol,” according to Anthony Palumbo, an associate professor emeritus of technology and team adviser for the Grand Prix. “The student teams have worked hard all year to field their vehicles and have learned much from the hands-on experience,” he added.

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(Posted April 13, 2007)