Atlanta Has 99 Problems And This Is One?

The following is a guest post from Patrick Mayer:

This weekend roughly 150,000 people from all over this nation will be drawn to Road Atlanta for Formula D. There drivers will compete against each other in a high horsepower, high adrenaline sport know as drifting. Paired off they will race each other not just on the speed in which they can finish the course, but with the highest level of accuracy and style that each driver can lay down on the track. These 150,000 fans will spend big money on hotels, restaurants, and entertainment here. While this will be held on a racetrack with professional, six weekends a year the amateurs get together, rent the Turner Field Blue Lot, and try to see what it feels like to harness the power and skills like the pros.

But, it looks as though the Atlanta City Council does not want this to happen anymore. They are content with telling the 500 to 2000 people that regularly attend each of these six events that their are no longer welcome to buy permits, pay EMS and Police, and spend their money at the local hotels and restaurants because of “excessive noise”.

This “excessive noise” has been documented in a residential driveway bordering the Blue Lot at 73db during a very loud tandem run.

Fun facts 1: The loudest cat in the world purrs at this level, standard city traffic is usually measured around 80db, and fireworks displays (much like the ones held on Friday’s at the Ted) run around 120db.

Fun Facts 2: Even with drifting being banned by a city ordinance, there are going to be 9 SCCA events in the same lot up until November.

Not only do these events bring the 18-35 year old crowd that the local restaurants crave, but it also allows these drivers a controlled environment to practice and compete. The Turner Blue Lot is a certified and insured racetrack. This inexpensive and local venue is just what Atlanta needs when it is not being used for Braves parking.

Mr. Mayor, we in the automotive community here in Atlanta urge you to veto this ordinance. It does nothing to improve the schools, transportation problems, or the crime rate in Atlanta. It is just another way of saying “we don’t want people to come into Atlanta and have fun. Go spend your money somewhere else.

Is this really the message you want to spread?

Currently there are 9,000 people on Facebook that believe this is what you are saying, and there are over 6,800 people that have signed a petition saying the same thing. While these may not be City of Atlanta voters, motor sports enthusiensts have deep pockets and have a pretty good history of voting here in Georgia.

You can either allow Atlanta to be the city that continues to push people people away, or you can be the Mayor that decided it was a good idea to bring people into the city to spend their money, create great memories, and go away knowing that when they come back, they will bring more people.

At least it is more entertaining than a bunch of dirty hippies hanging out in park that required police protection…

Photo Credit


    • What what says:

      AMAENMWs (Atlanta Must Accept Everything No Matter What): Coming to a suburban neighborhood near you.

  1. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “It is just another way of saying “we don’t want people to come into Atlanta and have fun. Go spend your money somewhere else.”

    But unfortunately, as far as the City of Atlanta is concerned, it’s the truth.

  2. Max Power says:

    Back in the 80s we used to autocross at the old lakewood fairgrounds. It was great but Turner field is a much better spot and it’s easier to attract the attention of people passing by. The fact is the noise generated by the events can’t be as bad as the constant traffic noise for I-75/85.

  3. Kellydot says:

    When homeowners purchased homes next door to one of Atlanta’s largest Sports/Entertainment venues, did they really expect a quiet environment? There are fireworks that are set off at each Braves game for Pete’s sake!

    Former Presidential Nominee John McCain’s wife is an avid Drifter! See it here:
    She says it helped her rehabilitate after a stroke and that it has made her more confident. Doesn’t Atlanta want healthy, confident voters?

    • Bridget says:


      As I told Patrick on FB, I drift also…. but it usually involves an iPhone, mascara, or a Chick-fil-A wrapper 😉

      I remember thinking this was really cool about Cindy McCain though.

      • Kellydot says:

        Bridget, if the Council and Mayor will hear us, and the events can continue, come down and ride along with the drivers. You can’t do that at a Nascar race, but a drifter will strap you in a five point harness, put a helmet on you and take you for the ride of your life! It is just another service these events offer. Not too many Atlantan’s can say they have ridden in a racecar, unless they have paid a large sum of money to take the classes offered by Skip Barber at the pro tracks, OR come to an event at Turner Field and ridden in a Drift Car…

        • Bridget says:

          AWE. SOME.

          “..a drifter will strap you in a five point harness, put a helmet on you and take you for the ride of your life!…” seems like I’ve heard that in the form of pickup line before – HA.

          Seriously, though: Mayor Reed, if you’re reading this, I would commute from Cobb to spend money at Turner Field for this event.

  4. NoTeabagging says:

    Just curious. How long is each event per day? one or two days? During the events, how many minutes or hours are actually used for racing? If there are multiple, short races, how much downtime occurs between each race?

    I am suggesting you educate the ‘powers that be’ how much of the events are actually spent on the noise producing part in proportion to the entire event.

  5. Kellydot says:

    The events are one day events, and yes, there are multiple single car runs in succession, with little time in between those cars running, but with some downtime between the groups.
    The event organizers, as well as the SAVE DRIFTING IN ATLANTA Chairperson (myself) are more than willing to work with the HOA there to try to facilitate compromise. We were not (to date) given that chance. Find us on Facebook for a link to the Petition and join us in saving our beloved sport.

  6. benevolus says:

    Asking for inclusion while insulting another group.
    Perhaps someone other than an a-hole should be the spokesperson for your group.

    Good luck.

      • Patrick Mayer says:

        No, you didn’t. He didn’t like the line: “At least it is more entertaining than a bunch of dirty hippies hanging out in park that required police protection…” in reference to the strain on resources the Occupy Atlanta movement was to the law enforcement in the city.

      • Kellydot says:

        I think I know what you are talking about now! The last line of this piece made me cringe too. I personally support the Occupy movement; the author of this piece obviously does not. That is the greatest positive of all in Drifting, our diversity and our willingness to set aside all differences and love and support our sport. I am truly sorry you were offended. I personally do not consider the Occupy supporters to be dirty hippies, but I am sure some who see our drivers might consider them to be in that same catagory. Google Andy Sapp and click images. I am sure there are some who would dismiss him based upon his looks, or call him a dirty hippie. He is an Atlanta Icon in the Drift world. We embrace him as closely and with as much love as we do the medical proffessionals and businessmen involved in the sport. Again, I do apologize you were insulted.

  7. CobbGOPer says:

    The mayor and city council are probably not aware that motorsports includes much more than just NASCAR rednecks. If they took a minute to attend one of these events and realize the diversity of the fans and participants, they’d change their tune in a heartbeat. But methinks some of this has to do with a misguided perception that the only people affected by the ordinance are preppy white kids in souped-up sports cars. This is not the case.

    • What what says:

      How does this fit in with Atlanta spending considerable time and money in their effort to get the NASCAR Hall of Fame? Though ultimately won by Charlotte, where it’s not attracting crowds to the level expected, the people who you’ve used a strawman to make them call NASCAR fans rednecks were the ones who put in considerable effort to make this a center of the NASCAR world.

      If the mayor and city council indeed do think motorsports are limited to NASCAR “rednecks” (remember, your word), they sure do seem to like them.

      • CobbGOPer says:

        “How does this fit in with Atlanta spending considerable time and money in their effort to get the NASCAR Hall of Fame?”

        Citation please. And they weren’t trying to make Atlanta “the center of the NASCAR world,” they were trying to secure a tourist attraction they thought might bring more money to the city. They don’t ‘like’ NASCAR ‘rednecks,’ they just like their money.

        Which makes their stubbornness on the drifting events hard to fathom, since they generate revenue for the city and local economy.

    • Kellydot says:

      Although we love and support all of our redneck drivers just like the preppy white kids. It is amazing how many walks of life drifters come from!!!

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