Ohio State students prepare ’90s Indy car for vintage race at IMS

3 Comments

Some internships are not always the most exciting. But a group of Ohio State University students certainly aren’t having that problem.

Eight of them are helping to prepare a 1997 Chevrolet-powered Reynard Champ Car for racing in next month’s Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

More than 10 different classes of cars – from NASCAR stock cars to former Indianapolis 500 and Formula One machines – will compete in the vintage weekend.

Per a feature from The Columbus Dispatch (which also features a neat time-lapse video of the car being put together), the group – known as the Genius Garage Racing Team – is led by an OSU graduate, 32-year-old Casey Putsch.

It is Putsch, a restoration shop owner, that will race the car at IMS during the vintage weekend in a 35-minute sprint race on the road course.

While the students do not receive pay or course credit for their work with Putsch, they believe that the hands-on experience will be attractive on their resume as they pursue jobs.

“All of them really look for independence and being able to work and complete a project,” 19-year-old junior and team member Mahesh Chigurupati told the Dispatch’s Collin Brinkley. “And I just was really, really interested in learning more about this.”

Another interesting aspect is that each student on the team has been assigned to work on a specific part of the car. For example, Chigurupati has designed a new radiator and installed new brakes on the Reynard, Brinkley writes.

The team is expected to fire up the car for the first time later this week, and Putsch believes that their work will pay dividends on the track at Indy and later on in an upcoming race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“I’m working with all the students carefully and seeing what they’re doing,” he said to the Dispatch. “We’re confident that everything they’re doing is being done right.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.