My journey of driving fast through the twisty road of the mountains has led me to finally gain the nerve to take my car to the track. With the help of some friends that I met through a FaceBook group I registered for a Track Day at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
You just can’t show up and take your car through their 2.54 miles consisting of 12 turns.
The best way is to join a group that offers Track Days. The group basically rents out the track then sells individuals similar to how a promoter will pay a group then sell tickets.
There are many groups that rent out tracks all over so you have to check their website to see when and where tracks are available along with their procedures and requirements to participate in their event, these are the ones that I know of:
- Just Track It
My friend Drew Fausnacht introduced me to Just Track It. I went to their website and found an available date and time (they fill up quick) and registered for their Friday, March 5th event which was the only one that I could register as a Novice and with an instructor. The other levels you could register are: Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, and Advanced.
I registered for the event on January 14, 2021 and the cost of the event was $299.99 + $50 for an instructor for the day. The instructor basically barters his time to help Novice drivers in exchange for a free track day. Not a bad deal. I opted for everything they had to offer;Vinyl Car number set, Apex Pro and OBD2 sensor so you can nerd out on technical data of your run. I did not install these on this go around, Lunch time touring laps, Professional photo package, and an instructor
My instructor was Tom Crookston, an older gentlemen who tracks his Porsche 924 with his best lap time of 1:40. The track record is 51 seconds set by a Formula 1 Ferrari F2003.
PRIOR TO RACE DAY
JTI, Just Track It, did an amazing job at making sure you knew what to do prior to arriving to the track.
First and fore most you need a SA2010 or newer Helmet. I chose a full faced matt black helmet from Bell that costs $469 that I purchased from the Shop at Atlanta Motorsports Park. I probably could have found it cheaper online but I needed to make sure the helmet fit properly and I couldn’t just go and try it out an not buy it from them.
The second and third crucial thing is to make sure the car you’re taking is safe by having a professional auto shop inspect and sign off along with using high temperature brake fluid. I took my Porsche to EuroFed in Decatur, Georgia who works on Porsches and other European cars.
REGISTRATION AND THE DAY AT THE TRACK
I showed up the evening before the event to register, turn in my Tech form, and get instructions. When arriving to Road Atlanta, they did a temperature check then directed me to their in field Paddock where I went into a Blue trailer, gave them my name and they gave me a lanyard with the times of the sessions, a wrist band, vinyl decal numbers, and my Apex Pro and OBD sensor which I did not use.
Prior to arriving to the track, at 7:30am, I made sure to fill up with 93 octane fuel because I knew I would go through at least 1 tank before the day ended. In fact, I ended up having to go and refuel after my 3rd session.
I met up with my friend Drew, who has an awesome corvette and is a hell of a driver, with his girlfriend Angela where they set up a tent toward the back of the paddock.
The drivers meeting began at 8:30 where 2 instructors led us through a series of safety protocols, flag designations, track turns, passing lanes, hand signals, Corner Worker locations, dos and don’ts, and many other helpful information to make sure I maximized my time, enjoyment, and safety for the day.
In the lanyard they gave us was this super handy schedule of our day including heats, classroom, and lunch break.
Unfortunately, when it was our turn to go out, there had been a wreck prior to our session. Which caused a delay and reduction of laps. All good, because the Road Atlanta team made sure the person was safe, the vehicle was out of the way, and the track was back to ideal conditions.
Video just before the crash at Road Atlanta before the Novice group came out.
The following 5 videos are from a GoPro camera suction cupped to the top of the windshield which give the best clarity.
I had the best time! Being on a track with ideal conditions made this one of the best car experiences I have ever had. I had a fantastic instructor and good friends.
Looking forward to doing it again!!