Racing with renewable energy at BGSU Grand Prix

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University’s third annual Grand Prix to promote a cleaner environment and energy independence will be held Saturday, April 12. The track opens at noon and the race begins at 2:30 p.m.

Nine teams, including an entry based at Eastern Michigan University, are entered. This marks the beginning of intercollegiate racing at the BGSU Grand Prix.

The goal of the Grand Prix is to utilize racing to promote renewable energy, apply scientific principles and classroom teaching, and bring the thrills of motor sports directly to the BGSU community, according to Anthony Palumbo, an associate professor emeritus of technology and BGSU Motorsports team advisor.

“Motor sports have always provided a proving ground for technological development. Now we can also see that a motor sport event can provide a motivational tool for the educational process,” Palumbo said. “Having an outside institution such as Eastern Michigan participate emphasizes and validates our belief in the educational benefits. A friendly sport rivalry certainly adds to the excitement. It establishes a precedent that may lead to the beginnings of a new intercollegiate sport.”

The main event features student drivers and crews racing karts wheel-to-wheel using renewable, ethanol-based E-85 fuel.

Free and open to the public, the event features a one-fifth mile, six-turn road course at the “BGSU Intercollegiate Speedway,” more often referred to as campus parking Lot N. The lot is adjacent to Memorial Hall and Jerome Library off Ridge Street.

Preceding the race will be practice and qualifying rounds. The Grand Prix race is scheduled for 60 laps and 12 miles.

Parking for the public will be provided in Lot 16, north of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The event is hosted by the BGSU Motorsports Club and is produced with the support of Ag Credit and Country Mortgages of Bowling Green.

The student drivers from BGSU include: Jason Benschoder of Bowling Green and Matt Fager of Delta, both seniors majoring in construction management technology; Phillip Heuker of Englewood and Brian Kromer of Mansfield, both seniors majoring in engineering technology; Mike Simecek of Avon Lake, a junior majoring in engineering technology; Julius Thomas of Euclid, a sophomore majoring in geography; Ryan O’Dea of Hilliard, and Randy Patton of Lucas.

Ken Holman, a senior majoring in technology design education, is slated to drive the Eastern Michigan entry.

“The student race teams and cooperating student clubs have worked hard all year to field their vehicles and to produce an event,” Palumbo said.

For more information, visit http://www.bgsu.edu/studentlife/organizations/motorsports.

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(Posted April 04, 2008 )