Thor, Genesis To Support ‘Riverwalk Grand Prix’

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August 9, 2017 by   Comments Off on Thor, Genesis To Support ‘Riverwalk Grand Prix’

Thor Industries Inc. and Genesis Products, as the title and presenting sponsors, respectively, are extending their support to the Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix, Aug. 12-13 in downtown Elkhart.

Thor Marketing Director Brett Schwab said that Thor Industries Inc. is pleased to be the title sponsor of the go-kart racing event, which is officially called “Thor Industries Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix,” and which is being held this year after a 20-year hiatus.

“The reason we’re the title sponsor is two-fold,” Schwab told “No. 1, we love the opportunity to give back to the community whenever there’s a chance, and this is a special event for Thor’s leadership because they used to attend when they were younger back when the race used to be held in Elkhart. So there’s very fond memories of it and we really appreciated it when USAC (United States Auto Club) reached out to see if we’d like to be a title sponsor. It is a great free family event for the community for people to come out and have a relaxing weekend.

“There’s going to be a kid’s zone,” Schwab continued, “and free live bands and face-painting for the kids and other things like that during the day — there’s really a lot of fun activities going on which we’re happy to be a part of.”

Genesis Products is hosting a hospitality tent for its invited customers and colleagues from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday (Aug. 12) at downtown Elkhart’s Kardzhali Park.

Genesis can trace its participation in the Elkhart’s Riverwalk Grand Prix to AJ Balthes, a division manager for the company and an amateur go-kart enthusiast. Balthes said that he is excited about the event and would be racing all weekend.

“It’s very exciting to have the Grand Prix back in Elkhart,” Balthes told “This race is one-of-a-kind because it’s such a great experience for both the fans and the racers. I am looking forward to being out on the course and participating as a racer!”

Heather Jenks, Genesis Products vice president of RV sales, said the Grand Prix offers the company a “fantastic opportunity to connect with customers and colleagues while supporting our community. The family focus, and the fact that it’s in downtown Elkhart, makes the Grand Prix the perfect summer gathering.”

The event director for the Elkhart Riverwalk Grand Prix, Mike Burrell, also is the racing director with USAC. He worked with Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese to help bring the Grand Prix back to Elkhart.

“I got with the mayor about a year ago, he wanted to bring the race back, and we’ve had great support from the RV community in Elkhart — the manufacturers and component manufacturers all just chipped in and they are all eager to bring an event back to town that they can be proud of that also hits their customer base,” Burrell said.

Also a longtime racer, Burrell said that 120-130 families are coming to race this year, that half of them own RVs and that is how they come to the race — with a race trailers towed by their motorhomes.

“Hopefully it’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “They set up a little campground, a race track and they are their own little community. They barbecue at night and just enjoy the event.”

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