What is Purdue’s Grand Prix?

April 5, 2019

| Kailyn Scott

When you hear the words “Grand Prix,” you may think of a week of sunshine and dartying (day-partying) at the fraternities, not spending time at a nearby go-kart track. So what exactly is Grand Prix and why is it so important to Purdue Culture?

In case you’ve never heard about the event, Grand Prix is a go-kart race hosted by Purdue every spring. The Grand Prix Foundation’s main focus is to fundraise for scholarships that fund Purdue students every year. The race started when a group of students wanted to create an event that combined their creativity with their engineering skills. Teams represent residence halls, clubs, fraternities, and sororities.  Thirty-three drivers compete for a trophy and bragging rights in this fifty mile, 160 lap race. The race track is located behind Schwartz Tennis Center on McCormick road near the intersection of McCormick and Cherry Lane.

Grand Prix has since turned into a community-wide event through donations, sponsors, and student participation. 2019 is the 62nd annual race and it has become one of the most anticipated times of the year for Purdue students and alumni.

So now that you know the meaning behind Grand Prix, let’s talk about some of the basics to surviving the week filled with lots of fun, warm weather (fingers crossed), and go-karts! 🙂


I know it’s hard to believe, but some Purdue students never make it to a race during their time here. Grab a group of friends and spend your day at the race track. The presale tickets are only $10 or $15 at the door. It’s a school tradition you don’t want to miss out on!

2. Plan ahead on school work

It’s tempting to just drop everything for the week to focus on the fun, but you have to remember that school comes first. Get a head start on your homework the weekend before or crank it out earlier in the week. Grand Prix festivities happen all week long, so take some time for school first….the fun can wait and you are way more likely to relax knowing that paper has already been written!

3. Hydrate

Since it’s going to be warm (once again, fingers crossed), prepare to spend most of the day outside. If you’re of age, be careful not to sip on too many fun pops. We want you to have a good time but you also need to be safe. Take care of your body and cool down with some water every once in a while.

4. Buddy system

Never walk alone. The campus can get pretty crazy this time of year, so make sure you have a group of people who plan to stick together! Be aware of your surroundings, keep your phone & phone charger with you, and remember that Purdue has blue-light emergency posts located throughout campus.

5. Make memories to last a lifetime

Is this your first Breakfast Club? Have you done a fountain run yet? Closed down Harry’s Chocolate Shop? Classic Purdue traditions are something you should take full advantage of before you hit the books for finals.

6. Enjoy the outdoors

Besides Purdue traditions, make some memories of your own. Spend lunch outside or have a picnic. Bring out your hammock and spend the day relaxing with a good book. Grab some friends and go for a bike ride or soak up the sun at Alexander Field & support the baseball team on Friday, April 12th vs. Iowa. 


Work hard, play hard,  and Happy Grand Prix week!!!

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