Experts To Reveal Business Opportunities In Today's Vintage Racing Market At PRI | Performance Racing Industry
Experts To Reveal Business Opportunities In Today's Vintage Racing Market At PRI
September 29, 2014
Tony Parella of SVRA, JR Mitchell of GMT Racing, and Chuck Cornelison of VDS Racing Engines will discuss the state of historic race car competition and how to get involved in this burgeoning segment.
Experts To Reveal Business Opportunities In Today's Vintage Racing Market At PRI

Whether it's a 1960 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite or a 1976 Lola T342—old race cars rule!

And with historic machines engaged in wheel-to-wheel competition across so many of the nation's top road courses and raceways today, there's never been a better time for motorsports professionals to enter the realm of vintage racing.

So in 2014, the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show is bringing the experts to Indianapolis for a one-time-only panel discussion, titled “Opportunities In Vintage Racing,” on this fast-growing segment.

Indeed, three of the leading figures in vintage racing—Tony Parella of Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA), JR Mitchell of GMT Racing, and Chuck Cornelison of VDS Racing Engines—will discuss the state of the market, potential business opportunities for engine builders, retailers, fabricators and others, how to get involved, what it takes to serve this market, and much more in this special presentation scheduled from 8–9 a.m. on Friday, December 12, in Room 239 of the Indiana Convention Center. Time will also be set aside for a brief Q&A with the audience.

“I know this will sound crazy,” Parella told PRI earlier this year, “but I think someday SVRA and vintage racing in particular could become a mainstream attraction for fans across the United States. It could be said in the same breath with NASCAR and IndyCar.”

Since purchasing the SVRA in 2012, Parella has worked to elevate vintage racing to a new level of professionalism and prominence. The Texas businessman and vintage race competitor was previously president and CEO of Shared Technologies Inc., which in 2008 placed 25th on the Fortune 100’s list of Best Companies to Work For.

But Parella is not just the owner of SVRA—he’s a competitive driver as well. Among other milestones, Parella shared his 1972 Corvette with 11-time Indianapolis 500 veteran Davey Hamilton in the Indy Legends Pro-Am he instituted at the SVRA Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June 2014.

J.R. Mitchell is owner of GMT Racing in Newtown, Connecticut, which was established in 1995 to restore and support vintage and historic racing cars. The shop features machining and fabrication services, in addition to mechanical facilities, sub-contracting engine, body, paint and upholstery work.

Mitchell and his wife Eileen have built the business into a 10-employee operation with 20,000 square feet of space, servicing and supporting about 40 vintage and historic race cars ranging from a 1927 Amilcar to an Audi R-8 LMP-1 at about two-dozen race weekends per year in the US, plus occasional forays abroad.

As a member of the prestigious Penske Racing Team, Chuck Cornelison played an integral role in developing engines that led to three Indianapolis 500 race wins: Al Unser in 1987, and Rick Mears in 1988 and 1991 (as well as the 1988 CART Championship).

Today, Cornelison co-owns VDS Racing Engines in Indianapolis, Indiana, with partner Bruce Linsmeyer. Over the years he has prepared race-winning engines for international competition in Historic Formula 1, Formula 2, and 2.0 Liter Sports Racers. Special projects include restorations of Indy car engines, as well as building engines for land speed record holders, race-winning USAC Midgets and Pavement Winged Sprint Cars.

“To be able to present this trio of vintage racing authorities is truly a privilege for PRI,” said Dan Schechner, editor of PRI Magazine and the scheduled moderator. “The collective expertise and experience that we’ll be showcasing—particularly in this type of intimate setting—is pretty spectacular. These three individuals really walk the walk when it comes to building successful businesses in vintage racing, and we can’t wait to have them share their insights and know-how at PRI 2014!”

“Opportunities In Vintage Racing” is offered free of charge for registered PRI Trade Show attendees and exhibitors. Click here for additional event information.

For more information or to register for the PRI Trade Show, visit or call 949/499-5413.