Are you one of those few lucky people that gets to wake up every Saturday or Sunday morning to the sound of back firing, wheels squealing, and big thuds from corners being over shot? Up until September of 1970, the people of Braselton Ga, about an hour and half from from Atlanta were not either.
Back in 1969, a man by the name of Earl Walker and Arthur Montgomery decided to purchase 750 acres of land about an hour from Atlanta. With dreams of a establishing a world class racing facility right here in Georgia. Luckily, When a Can-Am race had to be canceled due to flood damage at another track, the series organizers began looking for a replacement and fortunately chose Road Atlanta to replace it. Because of this, the track then began to take form quickly, taking only six months to excavate, grade, and pave the road course. Thus began the primitive version of the amazing road coarse that we know today.
The first race at Road Atlanta was held on September 13, 1970 when the track hosted its first Can- Am event. Crowds got to see race cars like the Porsche's and the Chaparrals. As the 1970's went on, more and more well known series came to Road Atlanta to give a shot ant the 2.54 mile road course. Can-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA Camel GT, and Trans-Am are the biggest names to have graced this track in that day. Many people who are involved in the SCCA are able to say that they raced on the track with Road Atlanta having held national championship at Road Atlanta from 1970 to 1993.
From 1978 to 1996 the track was past from owner to owner only having slight improvements here and there. in 1996 the owner that we all know now, Don Panoz, Purchased the track. Panoz made Road Atlanta the base of operations for his new Motorsports and luxury car projects. Once bought, Panoz finally began putting the track at Road Atlanta on the level it so surely deserved and allowing the track to finally be up to international racing standards where cars from all over the world would want to race on its surface.
After the complete face lift of the Road Atlanta The first ever Petit Le Mans took place in 1998. This race was and still is today a 10 hour or 1000 mile race to the finish. This race was a spectacular event, attracting new comers from around the world to see what this track was all about. This is the site of one of the In-famous Flips of the Porsche 911 GT1 on the back straight of the circuit.
Not only has it held events for SCCA and ALMS, but it hosts many races for Superbikes from the AMA, as well as for the fans of Drifting. A few specific improvements or additions were added to the tract to accommodate these two series and it can only get better ad more and more crowds are drawn by these two events.
Since the first annual race of the Petit Le Mans, which was the race that began the American Le Mans series.The Race track at Road Atlanta has grown to world class standards where people come to watch world class teams such as Audi, Peugeot, Porsche, Honda, etc. hope to gain entry in to the world famous 24 hours of Le Mans by winning the race.
Gaining status as a world class event by many of the drivers that have experienced this 2.54 mile track has helped only give a glimpse of the great things to come and the amazing crowds to be drawn as the years go by. Many more great racing memories will surely be had at this race course.