I didn’t expect to be the only flyer at the airport, but I was surprised to find a couple of flyers that had their own wings at the gate.
All went well and all my connecting flights were successfully achieved. My hotel room was favorable and at dinner I met many other attendees of this years premier professional racing event.
The next morning we took a shuttle bus to the convention center and waited in line for the traditional opening breakfast.
After a rendition of our national anthem and a few opening remarks we were treated to a Dave Despain interview with Jeff Gordon and Rick Mears.
The audience enjoyed the stories and the charm of the guests.
Dave and his guests could have kept us as an audience for an hour or two, but the big show had to go on and that was PRI itself. With over 750,000 square feet of show floors fully occupied with the gamut of racing products and services the attendees were eager to see what this year’s show held for us.
While most of the exhibitors and vendors are from the US, this year many more came from outside of America. There were companies from England, Italy and several from China. In one booth I found a Japanese tire company that had tires made in China for full out race cars as well as DOT race tires for track day enthusiasts. This business is really expanding.
One area of concern for racing enthusiasts is the recent interpretation of the Clean Air Act of 1970 by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) where they proposed a rule stating that it is illegal to convert a motor vehicle into a racecar if the vehicle’s emissions system no longer remains in its certified condition. If this goes forward it would seriously impact racing in a very negative fashion. Naturally this is a subject that has gained the attention of PRI attendees as well as racing enthusiasts in the US.
3D printing is getting far more sophisticated and is allowing for more durable prototypes as well as design creativity that is not possible with conventional casting and machining techniques. We need to continue to watch this area for important changes in technology.
America has reentered Formula 1 racing for the first time in over 30 years and an example of HAAS racing’s entry was on hand for PRI.
Obviously this is an early prototype of the car used this past season, it is important to note that HAAS has achieved far more in its first year that some of the more seasoned F1 teams.
Speed Demon racing had an example of their land speed racing car.
Racing personalities were not to be found just at the breakfast interview. Many more were around the show floor.
It is a treat to have so many racing personalities available to talk to and get autographs from, but there are also thousands of racing products to be seen and evaluated. The product representatives are very helpful and interested in what these racers are looking for and any new needs they might have.
Gforce had bolt-on IRS kits for Mustangs, Camaros, and Chrysler cars:
NEO Motorsports is producing billet aluminum calipers with titanium pistons for track and street use.
Anderson Composites had three examples of cars using their light weight body parts on display.
Grassroots Motorsports was there, too.
Race America displayed technology to make track racing safer and leverage electronics to keep racers, race control, and fans informed.
There were suppliers of composite drive shafts:
And of course there were many cars on display:
There is so much to see when you attend PRI and I have another day to find some more things of interest.