Address: Atlanta Motorsports Park, 20 Duck Thurmond Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534, USA
PH: +1 678-381-8527
Circuit type: Permanent road course
It's the Tilke track you've probably never heard of, nestled deep in Georgia near the home town of one of NASCAR's biggest names. Atlanta Motorsports Park opened in 2013 and is a surprising mix of old-school crests and dips, about as far removed from Abu Dhabi or Sochi as you could imagine.
Located just outside Dawsonville (home of 'Awesome' Bill Elliot), the track is the brainchild of businessman and keen amateur racer Jeremy W. Porter, who could see the potential for a country-club style-circuit for car lovers, deep in NASCAR territory. Aiming high, Hermann Tilke was employed to come up with the track layout, while facilities were conceived to provide "Ritz Carlton" levels of service.
It's not hard to see where the inspiration came from for at least half of the track – though it's not the two European 'classic' circuits that the track management would have you believe. Instead, the final portion of the lap is a virtual facsimile of Motorland Aragón, another Tilke track and undeniably one of his better efforts. The Eau Rouge/Raidillion section from Spa and the Nürburgring's Carousel are said to be inspirations elsewhere, though this writer at least can find few similarities to those classic corners but nevertheless the track does feature some rather pleasing elevation changes throughout the lap.
The 16-turn course held its first race in November 2013, when it hosted the inaugural ChumpCar World Series Race, an endurance series for amateur drivers in equally amateur cars. Mazda Miatas have also raced here, while the circuit is popular for track day events.
Club members get a variable number of guaranteed days of track time, depending on the level of membership purchased. In addition to access to the track, AMP membership provides members with other activities including a wide range of outdoor pursuits, from horseback riding, to biking, tennis and hiking trails. There is also a fitness centre, children's play area, pool and club house, while members also are allowed access to the private showers, kitchen, and private lounge areas.
Atlanta Motorsports Park is located near to Dawsonville, Georgia. The nearest airport is Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, around 70 miles or 90 minutes' drive to the south.
The circuit is north of Atlanta just outside Dawsonville. Head out of the downtown area on Interstate 75N (3.1 miles), then merge onto to Interstate 85N. After 2.7 miles head right onto GA 400 N / US 19 N(note: this is a toll road). Continue for 38.1 miles, passing North Georgia outlets on the left, then turn Turn left at GA 53 (you'll see a McDonald's on your left). Turn left at the stop sign before Downtown Dawsonville to remain on GA 53. At the roundabout, go straight on then stay left at the turn off for Amicalola Falls to remain on GA 53. After 1.1 miles, turn right at Duck Thurmond Road and the circuit entrance is on the right.