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Land of Opportunity
By Dan Schechner on April 2, 2019

Last year at the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis we did something new. It was actually based on something we’d launched a year earlier.

The “year earlier” thing was our Featured Products Showcase—a dedicated section of the Indiana Convention Center where exhibitors could display their newest race parts and technology all in one location. Buyers and media would then explore these products up-close, learn a bit more about them, and connect with the respective manufacturers in their booths on the Show floor.

The Showcase was a hit, as hundreds of exhibitors took advantage of the opportunity for additional exposure while highlighting their hottest products. Attendees dug it, too, recognizing the value in gaining unprecedented access to scores of new components and equipment.

So, it was a win-win.

The next step for Featured Products Showcase—that “something new” I mentioned before—was the creation of PRI’s Global Media Awards. Established in 2018, the program was designed to bring added attention to products entered in the Showcase that appealed not only to customers in the US, but to international buyers as well. Think of it as a way to bridge the divide between domestic and overseas race markets.

To serve as judges, we enlisted media members from key racing markets around the world, including Asia, Australia, Canada, South America and the UK. Judging took place on the first day of the Show, and when the dust cleared our panel of journalists had each selected 10 products from hundreds of entries as PRI’s inaugural Global Media Awards winners.

It was particularly interesting to hear the reasons our judges gave for choosing the products they did. For example, Luke Nieuwhof of Drag News in Australia noted that late model Mustangs and Camaros are relatively new to market there, which is why he gravitated toward the Mustang 5.0L Coyote Billet Intake Manifold by Plazmaman, as well as the 2019-16 Chevy Camaro SS & ZL1 ProCharger 10 Rib Belt Drive by ProCharger. “I think anything that people can bolt on readily to their cars in Australia and go drag racing with is going to appeal to them,” he told us.    

Fast-forward to the current issue of PRI Magazine—and specifically our International Report highlighting the Australian market, which begins on page 90. In sourcing the article, writer Todd Ryden spoke with several industry contacts both here and abroad. And what he found was a country rife with opportunity for racing parts and service providers.

Among key takeaways from the piece: Australia plays host to a vast array of motorsports, including circuit racing, dirt oval track, drag, rally, drifting, karting and off-road. And there’s big business to be captured Down Under: While most big-time race teams build their engines from US-sourced components, “[others] will purchase engines built and tuned by American builders and ship them back to the States for freshen-ups at the end of the race season,” according to Bruce Williams of Auto Action, an Australia-based motorsports monthly with 30,000-plus circulation.  

But perhaps most striking, Williams (who also was a judge for our aforementioned Global Media Awards) noted that Australia imports more American-made hardcore racing products than any other country on earth.

Alas, a land of opportunity! And with that in mind I invite you to have a look at our write-up on this evolving market. It’s a good read, and it includes some enlightening info on our fellow speed enthusiasts who—though separated by distance—aren’t all that different from us in their pursuit of and passion for performance and horsepower.
   

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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