PRI Show – Many Looking Forward To ’09

Hoping to Leave Recent Bad Economic News Behind

Orlando, FL (December, 13, 2008) – The Performance Racing Industry Show (PRI Show held Dec. 11-13) was once gain held in picturesque Orlando. I love it because I can drive there since I only live about thirty minutes away. This year’s show, as have been the recent norm, is a great way to bring a large cross-section of motorsports people together in one building. It’s a neat to see many new products and ideas. Also, everyone is excited to be there and be seen there. After many weeks of terrible economic news and layoffs, many who survived were happy to be there and preparing for the 2009 season. Some of those I spoke to were the ones that got laid off and were attempting to find a way back among the employed. However, others in charge of the books reported that they’ll continue to tightening their belts for ’09.

The big news on Friday was from MAZDASPEED for 2009 as they announced they’re joining up with Dyson Racing. The pair will field a pair of BP liveried Mazda MSR-R powered Lolas in the ALMS Series with the driver line-up to be announced. Also SpeedSource signed Jonathan Bomarito to join #70 Castrol Syntec RX-8 team for the 2009 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Also 2008 star Mazda champion John Edwards signed with Newman Wachs for the 2009 Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship. 2008 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup Champion Eric Foss signed with Tri-Point Motorsports for the 2009 Speed World Challenge Touring Car championship. Also, Racers Edge Motorsports signed Dane Cameron for the full 2009 Grand-Am season. Mazda certainly seem have a lot of good things going on and was showing that they’re really using the ladder system and that it works. They were also proud that their the triple crown in the three longest races. Team MER Mazda MX-5 drivers Jason Saini, Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman won the Nasa 25 hours of Thunderhill, Mazda also won had two class wins including overall against a field that included Corvettes, Porsche, BMW, and Daytona Prototypes. Mazda also won the GT class at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and the overall win at 24 Hours of Nelson Ledges earlier in the year.

Opening night the PRI Show is also host to the popular Go Kart race outside the Orange County Convention Center and a star-studded field from all forms of racing were there. This was the third annual event as drivers like Scott Speed of NASCAR along with IndyCar drivers, Dan Wheldon, Ed Carpenter and Will Power. Racing ace Bryan Herta was there along with drag racing stars Ron Capps and Anton Brown. I spoke with Scott Speed along with his dad, Mike as they were working on their kart. Scott was looking forward to his endeavor in NASCAR Sprint Cup. He told me that he is very thankful to be racing and because of Red Bull he is able to do events like this and he wants to race in as many forms of racing as he can. He would like to try drag racing was excited about this kart race because this where they (Scott and his father) started and they should have more these parking lot races in support of other motorsport events.

Twenty-four pro raced on the specially constructed track for the All-Stars Masters Division finale. It was IndyCar Lights champion, Jay Howard taking the overall win, followed by Grand-Am star Joey Hand in second and Speed ended up third.

“There were a lot of game faces out there,” Howard declared, following his triumph. “It was clear everyone was there to win it, and with the karts running the rough track, it took a lot of skill to just stay in control. As I think we all expected, every driver was extremely focused. Karting is such a great way to hone your skills and forces such a high level of concentration. It was a lot of fun, and I’d do it again tomorrow!”

Let’s hope that the positive vibes from the PRI Show carry on to the 2009 season and we can move forward out of these economic doldrums.

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