ANY enthusiast worth their salt will tell you we’re living in a golden age of performance equipment. As technology improves, quality aftermarket gear is becoming exponentially more advanced and accessible – as evidenced by the 2019 Performance Racing Industry Show (PRI).
If you’re not familiar with PRI, think of it as SEMA for go-fast parts. It’s a yearly trade show held in Indianapolis, packed wall to wall with innovative new gear. Incredibly, there were over 1100 companies exhibiting at the 2019 event.
Street Machine’s Commercial Content Director (and fairly handy drag racer) Matt Rice attended the show as an official judge for the Global Media Awards, and these are his top 10 picks from PRI 2019. Matt reckons these products could go gangbusters in the Aussie market.
AFCO DOMINATOR FOUR-WAY ADJUSTABLE DRAG SHOCKS
AFCO has packed all the features of a high-end performance shock absorber into a product that a lot of racers can afford. With small-tyre and radial racing the new hotness in Australia, I can see racers really getting the best performance from their cars with this product, all at an accessible price point.
COMP PERFORMANCE GROUP FAST WIRELESS AIR/FUEL METER KITS
Australians are tech-savvy and always on the lookout for new uses for their smartphones, so I really liked this cool bit of engine technology, which can sit right there in your pocket. With this kit, you can monitor your car’s air-fuel ratio via the FAST app, beamed directly via Bluetooth. It’s capable of reading from single- or dual-sensor set-ups, and comes pre-loaded for a variety of unleaded, ethanol and diesel blends.
FORGELINE MOTORSPORTS GS1R BEADLOCK RACING WHEEL
Pro touring-style builds are increasing in popularity in Australia, but what’s all the rage at the moment are beadlock race wheels. Forgeline has married a pro tourer wheel design with beadlock styling, which is sure to make this new line of 6061-T6-forged wheels a hit here in Oz. Currently, they’re available in 17- and 18-inch sizes, with 19-inchers coming later this year. A variety of finishes are on offer, too.
FUELTECH FT600 ECU
FuelTech’s FT600 combines the ECU and dash into one unit. With a seemingly endless number of outputs and inputs available, the FT600 ECU really can do it all. With racers looking to monitor an ever-increasing number of sensors and looking for every pound of weight saving, it will be hard to look past the FT600 to deliver the goods.
FUELTECH FTSPARK-8 CDI
High-boost methanol engine packages are popular right now, and for that you need an excellent ignition package. The FTSPARK-8 CDI is a simple CAN connection away from the FT-series ECUs, which is great, but it can also be used with any ECU on the market – a masterstroke by the FuelTech team.
HUGHES PERFORMANCE PRO SERIES POWERGLIDE TWO-STAGE DUMP VALVE
Small-capacity engines with large turbos are a common sight at Australian drag strips, but all too often the race is over before it even begins, as competitors struggle to get the power through the converter and onto the two-step. This set-up from Hughes should assist. Not only will it help get your combination on song at the startline, but the two-stage arrangement will help during the run, allowing you to slip the converter as required down the track.
MCLEOD RACING FTI PERFORMANCE GS20 TORQUE CONVERTER
Torque converter technology has come ahead in leaps and bounds in the past few years. With years of experience in manual clutch technology, McLeod is now stepping into the world of converters, giving racers on a budget access to converter technology usually reserved for the bigger-budget operations.
PLAZMAMAN RACING BIG-BLOCK CHEV BILLET INTAKE MANIFOLD
The turbo revolution is in full swing here in Australia, and Plazmaman’s billet big-block inlet manifold is on top of most racers’ wishlists. The low-rise manifold has a burst panel neatly incorporated, which screams that it’s a serious piece of performance gear. The finish on these manifolds is exquisite, too; it’s almost a shame to bolt it to an engine.
RC COMPONENTS TWO-INCH OFFSET REAR RACE WHEEL
RC Components’ aggressive wheel designs are starting to gain traction here in Australia, and the company now offers a two-inch offset wheel, which seems sure to entice customers who don’t wish to modify their car to fit deep-dished race wheels.
TURBOSMART GEN-V eWG60 ELECTRONIC WASTEGATE
Most serious boost controllers are air-over-air, and while they work well, there are factors outside of the controller that can let them down – leaking air lines, empty air bottles or something as simple as forgetting to turn the air bottle on. All of these factors can cost you a race. This electronic wastegate from Turbosmart allows you to reduce all the complexity and let your ECU do the work.