Quantcast

Gray makes grand kart racing debut at Purdue

By

@font-face { font-family: “Times”; }@font-face { font-family: “New York”; }@font-face { font-family: “Cambria Math”; }@font-face { font-family: “Calibri”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Times; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “New York”; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }

It wasn’t long ago that Peter Gray turned in maximum, strong-willed efforts wrestling, running cross-country and achieving in the classroom at Sonoma Valley High School.

Gray, who graduated from Sonoma in 2013, just completed his freshman year at Purdue University, where, besides keeping up with his academic focus, has fueled his competitive nature not on the grappling mat or running path, but driving a vehicle on a track for miles on end.

Actually, the vehicle is a self-built kart, which Gray, along with more than 60 other entries, recently raced in the 57th annual Purdue Grand Prix in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Billed as “The Greatest Spectacle in College Racing,” the Purdue Grand Prix, which is designed to test the mechanical and racing skills of students who build and maintain their karts, is 160 laps and 50 miles long, and takes around 90 minutes to complete.

Working his way from the back of the pack in the 33-kart main event field, Gray, representing Earhart & Shreve Residence Halls, overcame spinning out twice, driving on a flat front tire, having both a kink in his fuel line and the magneto fall off of his kart, to complete 105 of the 160 laps and turn in a best lap time of 26.744, besting most of the field.

Gray, who finished his rookie year in 20th place, also spent a lot of his prep time helping out other karts, with the Grand Prix officials inviting him to the awards banquet and surprising him with the “Mental Attitude Award” for bouncing back multiple times and fixing his, as well as other karts, on the fly to finish the race under the checkered flag.