The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has added an "Emerging Tech Day" to its planned festivities for the 100th anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 next May. The event, scheduled for Saturday, May 7, 2011 will feature displays of innovative renewable technologies for the automotive industry. An exhibition competition will also be staged for alternative-power vehicles in the Formula Hybrid and American Solar Challenge series and by students from Purdue University.
"The 100th Anniversary Indy 500 Emerging Tech Day is a great addition to our impressive lineup of interesting, fun and fan-friendly events surrounding the 'most important race in history' next May," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. "There's no better place than IMS to display green technology due to the Speedway's rich heritage of automotive innovation through the Indianapolis 500, whether it was the first rear-view mirror on Ray Harroun's winning car in 1911, the turbine engine used in the famous STP cars of the late 1960s or so many other examples."
Formula Hybrid challenges college and university students to design, build and race high-performance, plug-in hybrid vehicles. Building on the Formula SAE program, Formula Hybrid adds an extra level of complexity: fuel efficiency. With technological challenges for students with backgrounds in electrical, mechanical and computer engineering, Formula Hybrid encourages interdisciplinary teamwork and innovation.
The American Solar Challenge is a competition to design, build and drive solar-powered cars in a cross-country time/distance rally event that covers between 1,200 to 1,500 miles between multiple cities. American Solar Challenge events have been staged for 20 years across North America.
Students from Purdue, located in nearby West Lafayette, Ind., will race electric-powered karts in a race similar to the famous Purdue Grand Prix kart competition.
The Indy 500 Emerging Tech Day is one of three events including green forms of transportation scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at IMS as a prelude to Opening Day for the 2011 Indianapolis 500 on Saturday, May 14. Also taking place May 7 at IMS will be the Centennial Era Balloon Festival featuring colorful hot-air balloons from across the United States, and the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, which includes a lap around the famous 2.5-mile oval as part of its traditional course for 35,000 runners.