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

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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.”

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold