$2000 Challenge competitor heads to the Indy 500

Colin
By Colin Wood
May 29, 2022 | $2000 Challenge, indycar

Photography by David S. Wallens

Back in 2017, Gracie Hackenberg (pictured above at right) competed in our $2000 Challenge, fielding a 1999 Mazda Miata and scoring seventh overall alongside teammates Aly de Silva and Jess Wert.

Fast forward to 2022, and now Hackenberg is slated to be the inside tire changer for Juan Pablo Montoya at this weekend’s Indy 500. She’s currently a damper specialist at Arrow McLaren SP and, since the $2000 Challenge, has also spent time at Lux Performance, Peerless Pattern Works and Donovan Motorcar Service.

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Comments
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alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/22 4:35 p.m.

So you are saying the GRM Challenge is as valuable to resume as F-SAE is.  laugh

Thanks for showing people a great path, Gracie!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/27/22 4:43 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

You know, I once chatted with a rather famous race car builder who said that he sees more lessons learned at events like the $2000 Challenge and ChampCar/Lemons/etc....

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
5/27/22 5:01 p.m.

Well, that's pretty darn cool!

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/27/22 6:43 p.m.
alfadriver said:

So you are saying the GRM Challenge is as valuable to resume as F-SAE is.  laugh

Huh, this whole time I thought GRM Challenge was just FSAE for cheapass grownups

 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
5/27/22 9:41 p.m.

That's great!

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/22 9:50 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I'm offended that you insinuate that I'm a grownup.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/27/22 10:47 p.m.

This is awesome!  Looking back on FSAE being a member of a challenge team would give 80-90% of the value to a young career that FSAE offers and If you did a elaborate build it could be nearly all of the benefit.  

Now that there is a budget unlimited class why exactly haven't we invited FSAE cars to run at the challenge?  (Yes I realize there may need to be discussions with the track for FSAE length cars drag racing, I would propose FSAE cars run the 1/8 mile).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/28/22 12:35 p.m.

FSAE cars at the $2000 Challenge would be cool.

Now, to get them to show up.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/28/22 1:14 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Clear it with the track and let them know that it's available by sending Emails to the local Universities.  It shouldn't conflict with the FSAE events and would be a good early semester event for them to excercise the cars and work with the team.   I would also let GT know and they could reach out to their FSAE team as well.  

UF FSAE Gainesville

Really it comes down to GRM saying it's an acceptable option and having a path for the cars to pass Dragstrip tech.  It for sure would be a unique opportunity for the teams to get pictures of the cars staging at the lights.  Probably would need to have the cars run either solo or only heads up against other FSAE cars because their cages are only designed for being on track with other 500lb cars.

palominodad
palominodad
5/28/22 4:08 p.m.

Gracie,

Congrats on your career path and advancement from one of your first road race instructors!

We are proud of you!

Pete

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
5/28/22 4:24 p.m.

I've already reached out to a few FSAE teams; getting one to the event is a months-long process but we're working on it and have been for a while. Hopefully you'll see at least one in October!

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