The motorsports director of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show helps build on the state’s prowess as one of the global clusters for motorsports. Rollie Helmling says the successful return of the show, which kicks off Thursday at the Indiana Convention Center, is a chance for the state to showcase its place in the sector, which the IEDC says involves more than 421,000 Hoosier jobs. The event runs through the weekend and has an estimated economic impact of more than $55 million.
Visit Indy says GenCon is the only convention in the city with a larger economic impact than PRI. Over 1,200 companies and attendees, representing more than 70 countries and all 50 states, will be in Indianapolis this week. Helmling says the state needs to take advantage of a weekend where the "world comes to us."
The IEDC says 91 of the state’s 92 counties have businesses linked to the racing industry. In all, 23,000 Hoosier companies are directly involved in racing, says the IEDC. These connections range from racing teams to tracks to manufacturers, fabricators, suppliers and research and development firms and institutions.
"There are many synergies between motorsports and the current automotive industries with advanced manufacturing, new materials, lightweighting materials, aerodynamics and significant advancements in the automotive industry and much of this also applies to our aviation/aerospace industry," says Helmling. Indeed, Indiana ranks second in the nation in gross domestic product tied to the automotive sector and the state is third in auto assembly.
The California-based organizers of the show also recognize the international appeal that Indiana businesses help drive over PRI’s four days. Producer John Kilroy says "PRI Trade Show continues to be the world’s largest racing trade show and with that comes along a large international presence. That’s a huge plus for our domestic exhibitors and attendees as we’ve found international attendees come to the show as serious buyers with every intention of doing business." PRI says one example is Lakeville-based Hoosier Tires, which has previously brought in distributors from Japan, Thailand, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Around 3,200 booths will fill the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.
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Indiana Economic Development Corp. Motorsports Director Rollie Helmling tells Inside INdiana Business the state is working “very hard” to continue to boost its motorsports brand.