Following a disappointing but ultimately necessary hiatus in 2020, the Performance Racing Industry trade show is set to return with a vengeance to the racing capital of the world, Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Indiana Convention Center, December 9-11. This year’s show, perhaps making up for lost time, is set to be bigger and better than ever, with expected packed exhibitor halls, some great new seminars and conferences, and an overflow of anticipation from the industry at large ready to get back to business.
We’ve scoped out what PRI has on tap for this year’s edition and selected a few of the things we’re most looking forward to, from the usual cool cars and new products to some fresh new education and brainstorming opportunities designed to take the industry to the next level.
New Products For Days!
While the world seemingly stopped turning last year, the motorsports industry, by and large, did not, as manufacturers continued to design, develop, test, and machine the latest and greatest new go-fast parts. The only problem was, we all didn’t get the opportunity to see the new wares up close and personal — and so the return of the PRI show is a welcome sight, as we now get the opportunity to see not one, but two years worth of innovations in the racing industry. Think of the year off as an overflowing of anticipation.
PRI will again issue awards across a vast spectrum of categories in its Featured Product Showcase, spotlighting the best-of-the-best in new parts, apparel, tools, and so on, but beyond the award winners are literally tens of thousands of new products on display by the hundreds of exhibitors on hand — more than you could possibly ever see in three days. So bring your walking shoes!
The New EV Performance Zone
We know, we know….electric vehicles aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly in a segment of the automotive industry literally built on sounds, smells, and other assaults on the senses. But electric vehicles are no doubt here to stay, and the recent SEMA Show highlighted the growing interest in these vehicles, which are, in some cases, teetering into “performance vehicle” conversations right from the factory. But we’re also witnessing further migration into the racing space, from Formula E and Extreme E, to drag racing. And so the gang at PRI will be presenting an area of the show dedicated specifically to showcasing electric racing vehicles and associated technologies, located in the Wabash Ballroom, rooms 1-3.
The All-New Racetrack Operator, Promoter & Sanction Workshops
In meeting rooms 130 and 132 throughout the show schedule, PRI will present its brand new TOPS (Track Operators, Promoters, and Sanction) workshops, roundtables, and associated happy hours.
This is space dedicated to all owners, promoters, officials, and staff of motorsports facilities and sanctioning bodies with an opportunity to meet in person, talk to others with a common interest, or just hang out. Dedicated to track personnel, the new TOPS Workroom & Lounge has meeting spaces for a quick meeting, and comfortable couches and chairs to take a break from the show.
The schedule, as of this writing, includes a Road Course Roundtable, a National Sprint Car Council Meeting, Oval Dirt track roundtable, a seminar on government affairs regarding race track, a drag racing roundtable, and other various meetings and conferences.
Vehicles, Vehicles, And More Vehicles
A highlight of the PRI Show since the very beginning has been the absolute vast array of vehicles on display, spanning virtually every genre and niche of the motorsports industry — from sprint cars and stock cars to motocross bikes, monster trucks, pulling tractors, dragsters, and karts. As you head into the show from nearly any corner of the convention center, you’ll cross paths with vehicles comprising the featured vehicles display — but head into the show’s halls, and it only gets better, as you get an up-close look at some of the first racing machinery in the world. The show is often the grand reveal of many a new car, generating a ton of buzz among the attendees. One could easily spend three whole days just scoping out the cars, so again, come prepared!
A lot of great seminars are on tap for this year’s PRI Show, and if you’re attending and aren’t partaking in these unique opportunities to learn from experts in their fields, get signed up!
One seminar we’re particularly intrigued by will focus on all of the engine-building elements that come together to produce world-class horsepower; legendary engine builder Darin Morgan and Preston Mosher, BES Racing Engines’ cylinder head department manager, will discuss various combinations built by BES Racing Engines based on 50- to 60-year-old engine architecture utilizing modern cylinder head, induction system, and valvetrain technology to produce ever-higher power levels. Morgan and Mosher will also cover peak and average air speeds; pressure recovery dynamics; discharge coefficients; and intake tract harmonic tuning; and more.
Free Shuttles To The Brickyard
I may be a bit partial, a Hoosier native myself who grew up watching the legends navigate 500 furiously-fast miles every Memorial Day weekend for racing immortality, but I believe the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to be not just one of this state’s, but one of our nation’s, great treasures. The place is steeped in history, and it remains a breathtaking and unmistakable sight well over a century after it was built.
PRI is offering free shuttles from the convention center to the town affectionately known as Speedway to visit the famed 2.5-mile oval, and no matter what kind of racing you’re into, I assure you the place is a must-see. If you find a couple spare hours in your day during the show, I highly recommend taking PRI up on its offer and partaking in a guided tour of the speedway.