On Sunday Mike Knappenberger of Reading, PA and Guy Smith of Effort, PA headed to the Atlanta Motorsports Park members’ club track for the Chump Car stock car endurance race. This was the second day of racing, as they were running one of their “7 & 7” shows, with a separate seven hour race each day. For Guy, this was his 1,538th different track, and for Mike it was number 999. Mike now needs to see racing at just one more track to become the 10th person from our group to reach the “1,000 Tracks” mark.
Unlike the unfriendly aristocrats from Monticello, NY; who turned people away from the LeMons endurance race> at the gate because they didn’t know right people, the folks in Georgia were very nice and welcomed all who wanted to see the race and track for a token $5 admission. Everyone associated with the track was very nice to us. No TrackChaser had reported attending a race here before this weekend, so it became a first-time visit for our entire group. sure hope a lot more of the group gets to see this place!
The track is drop dead gorgeous. In fact, it may be the finest permanent pavement road racing circuit I’ve ever seen. It has wonderful turns and elevation changes in a beautiful setting. I’ve been to some of the nicest and most famous road racing circuits like Watkins Glen, Road America, Le Mans, Spa, Silverstone, and Brands Hatch and this one may have them all beat purely as a race track.
The circuit was designed by Herman Tilke. The track is two miles in length and can be run in multiple configurations. The two signature corners are designed after a turn at Spa, and the “Carousel” at Nurburgring.
Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP) is a road circuit designed by famed Formula One architects, Hermann Tilke. AMP is a 2-mile road coircuit with elevation changes, technical circuit layout, high speed straights and two ‘signature’ corners designed to pay homage to famed European race circuits; Belgium’s Spa-Francochamps and the iconic ‘Carousel’ from Germany’s Nurburgring. Incorporating these most famous and exciting of all of motorsports only hints at the lengths. – See more at: Atlanta Motorsports Park road Circuit
What makes this stand out as a facility is just how well you can see a good portion of the course. As a members’ club track not designed for spectators, I feared that viewing areas would be limited. We found a wonderful spot to watch the start of the race in one of the towers, but the best viewing came from the spectator hill in the infield. There is a tunnel going under the track, and then a walkway up to the top of a hill where you can see some of the most spectacular views of the track.
I’m partial to the Chump Car endurance races at permanent road circuits, because they don’t waste half the weekend practicing and qualifying. They just race. And they usually draw enough cars to put on a good show. For their first visit to AMP, they had a very respectable 42 car starting field.
Chump Car runs their races straight through without a break. For a seven hour race, they require a minimum of three drivers with no maximum. They have a computerized timing and scoring system so that teams can always keep track of their exact position and distance.
It was interesting how members of our TrackChaser group had Chump Car covered coast-to-coast this weekend. While Mike and I were at their show in Georgia, Bruce and Pat Eckel, as well as Gordy Killian, were at their west coast event in California. How ironic that each had 42 cars.
It’s starting to get pretty cold in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, and it was great to head south for a nice afternoon of beautiful weather at the beautiful Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, Georgia.
Guy Smith Effort, PA