The 26th Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Florida, will host the final round of the nation’s premier engine build competition for young automotive talent, it was recently announced.
Each year hundreds of automotive technology students from high schools across the country take part in regional competitions to determine which teams can disassemble and reassemble a small-block Chevrolet engine with aftermarket components in the fastest time, with the top scorers advancing to the National Championship.
In 2013, a select group of teams with the best time will be invited to compete for scholarship money and industry recognition.
"We are excited to have this special event, and all the fine young people that participate in it, at the 2013 PRI Trade Show. They represent the next generation of leaders in the racing industry, so we welcome the opportunity to have them compete in the Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championship at the world’s largest racing trade show," said John Kilroy, producer of the PRI Trade Show. "This will be fun."
In addition to the established engine challenge events, the 2013 Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow National Championship will feature an expanded competition format with three new contests:
– Carburetor Rebuild Competition
– Ring and Pinion Challenge
– Cylinder Head Challenge
Since its inception in 2008 at the Race and Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois, the Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow Engine Challenge has seen explosive growth in the number of competing teams. In the first year of competition, five teams with 25 students competed. By the end of the 2012 season, there were 112 teams with 560 students competing. The competition has been seen by more than 760,000 people, and has raised over $6 million in scholarship money donated by OTC, SAM and UNOH over the last four years.
"This industry that we’re in and love is turning gray. It’s getting older year after year," said Jim Bingham, chairman of Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow and president/CEO of Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom, Joliet, Illinois. "This is designed to be a program to bring young people inside the industry. This is about bringing them in, showing them that they can enjoy making a living in the high performance field, and, as a result, we get youth and talent inside our industry every year.
"We’re looking forward to working with PRI in 2013," he added. "I think it’s a great fit in a racing show, because what we’re doing is more racing-oriented. It will also allow us to add more events because we’re going to have a lot of space to work with. Plus, I believe Orlando is going to be a great place for the kids and families to visit."
Building on the success of its first year, the National Championship moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2009, where three divisional winners and one wildcard entry competed in the inaugural "Showdown at SEMA."
The championship round has been held at the SEMA Show each year since, and in 2012 it will once again take place on the SEMA Show floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, October 30-November 2, before moving to PRI in 2013.
"I absolutely love this event," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "It is amazing to me that Jim’s activity has impacted so many young members of our industry over the years. We’re pleased to be a part of the event and support this effort."
"This is just what our industry needed," added Vic Edelbrock. "It involves our youth, and gives them a focus that will help prepare them for careers in the performance automotive aftermarket."
Kicking off the countdown to next year’s Championship, PRI will host a regional Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow event during the 2012 PRI Trade Show, which takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 29-December 1, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.
For more information about Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow, please visit their website at HotRoddersofTomorrow.com.