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IndyCar Team News - Purdue University Partners With HVM Racing For Technology Advancement

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WEST LAFAYETTE, May 15, 2011: Purdue University and HVM Racing announced a strategic partnership during Saturday's (May 14) opening-day festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The HVM-Purdue relationship brings to the HVM team advanced engineering technologies in aerodynamics, manufacturing and advanced materials, providing opportunities for Purdue students and faculty to participate in motorsports with HVM.

"HVM Racing is one of IndyCar's leading competitors with 2010 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year driver Simona de Silvestro and one of the premier teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series," said James Caruthers, Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, who is leading the Purdue part of the collaboration. "Partnering with HVM will allow Purdue students to participate in the development of the cutting-edge technology that is at the heart of IndyCar racing."

Purdue HVM group

Keith Wiggins, president of HVM Racing, said, "This relationship with Purdue enables HVM to work with one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S. to exploit the latest technological innovations in aerodynamics, advance materials and manufacturing, as well as being able to interact with bright, fresh-thinking Purdue students in a variety of ways for the future."

"The Purdue-HVM partnership is an exciting way for Purdue University to actively engage the motorsports industry in Indiana - an industry that provides more than $4 billion per year to Indiana's economy," said Vic Lechtenberg, the university's vice provost for engagement.

Officials announced on Saturday that:

* Purdue's name will be displayed on the HVM IndyCar.

* Purdue engineering students will work this year as interns on the HVM team.

* HVM will collaborate with Purdue students and faculty to optimize the aerodynamic package for the new 2012 Indy cars that are being developed by Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara Automobili.

Electric motorsports are a key component of the HVM-Purdue partnership. Purdue held the Collegiate evGrandPrix on May 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. College teams from across the nation and Europe designed, built and raced electric go-karts in the 100-lap event.

"HVM and Purdue are working on the next steps of electric motorsports, steps that will lead to electric race cars that can go 200 plus miles per hour," Caruthers said.

The major sponsor of HVM Racing is Entergy Corp., a producer of electrical power with a focus on clean energy technology and nuclear power generation.

A key component of the partnership is to develop educational programs for children, young adults and the public that uses the excitement of IndyCar racing as the starting point for the introduction of engineering and science. Of particular interest is to use electric motorsports as a venue to engage students and adults in a discussion on the technologies needed for economic, green and sustainable electric energy in the 21st century.

Technical education is a key objective of the HVM-Purdue partnership.

"Our objectives are, first, use the 'cool' of IndyCar racing to attract students' attention, and then introduce the students to the incredible engineering required in these race cars," Caruthers said. "Finally, we want to encourage interested students to consider a career in engineering or technology. If these students choose a career in motorsports, great! If they choose a technology career in some other industry, great! And even if the students choose a non-technical career but have a greater appreciation of technology, that is also great!"

Imran Safiulla, partner at HVM, states, "this is a unique opportunity where a top-ranked technical university, an IndyCar team and one of the nation's largest energy producers are not only working toward a more competitive Indy race car, but where the team will also use the unique platform of IndyCar racing to bring awareness to a clean, reliable and efficient energy source, while encouraging young people to consider a technical career in order to address the challenges of the future."