Largest Race Industry Week ever kicks off PRI's return to Indianapolis

Largest Race Industry Week ever kicks off PRI's return to Indianapolis


Largest Race Industry Week ever kicks off PRI's return to Indianapolis


The PRI Trade Show’s return to Indianapolis kicked off with the opening of the largest Race Industry Week in show history, highlighted by the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC), the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow National Championship and Claude Roelle’s Advanced Vehicle Dynamics and Data Acquisition seminar at the Indiana Convention Center Monday and Tuesday.

This year’s Race Industry Week will feature 11 major events among 45 seminars and conferences that will take place in conjunction with the PRI Trade Show, which will run Dec. 12-14. The three-day AETC has drawn a variety of attendees including engine builders, design engineers, business owners and parts manufacturers.

“The return to Indy has been positive,” said conference organizer Brian Reese, of the Comp Performance Group. “Our attendance is up from last year. That points in a good direction for us. Bringing the show back to Indy is the heart of the breadbasket of racing. Geographically, it allows more racers and engine-builders easier access to the show. As far as our program, we continue to feature the latest trends in advanced engine performance. There’s something here for all of our attendees from the small builder to the most accomplished teams.”

That theme proved accurate on Tuesday as a group from Northwest Technical College (NCT) made the trip down from Bemidji, Minn.,to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

“I’ve brought seven students down with me this year,” said NTC faculty member Paul Nelson. “AETC is the cream of the crop for us. This is where we learn things we never even imagined we could learn. I’ve been coming to the AETC for 18 years and if I can learn a few new things each year to pass on to my students, it makes them that much more prepared for when they enter the work force. Not only do you have the presentations from some of the top engine people in the industry, but you can also learn so much just sitting down and talk with people.”

Even established engineers such as Harley-Davidson’s Greg Rodriguez find a great deal to take away from the conference. “The benefit of getting a vast amount of knowledge in a few days is great,” said Rodriguez. “Most of the presentations aren’t about motorcycles specifically, but there are things we can apply to do performance work.”

Roelle’s Vehicle Dynamics seminar offered an in-depth look at vehicle behavior, including measurement tools, aerodynamics, tires, weight transfer and tuning to an audience that extended from amateurs to professionals in a variety of areas in the industry. The seminar also features a free-flow of discussion amongst the attendees.

While the AETC and Vehicle Dynamics events featured a wide variety of attendees, the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow is all about the future of motorsports bringing together 23 teams from high schools and technical schools from coast-to-coast that have qualified in regional competitions to compete tearing down and rebuilding engines.
“This is a terrific opportunity for our kids,” Saul Garcia, of Loara High School in Anaheim, Calif. “It’s a very exciting competition for the kids to be able to travel here to Indianapolis where they get to compete. The scholarship program they have put together here is huge.”

The 26th Annual PRI Trade Show features the latest product lines of over 1200 manufacturers of racing and high-performance automotive components, as well as precision machining equipment. The show is expected to attract more than 40,000 racing professionals from across the U.S. and 72 countries.

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