ExperiencesTrackTrack DayExperience Spotlights

Atlanta Driving Society Track Day Review 2023

Atlanta is one of the most prolific car cities in America. In fact, we’d argue pound for pound between the numerous car manufactures, tracks, car events and associated companies like BBS, Toyo, Michelin and more that Atlanta is the greatest “car” city in America.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that not only is Atlanta home to several of the best tracks in the country, but the opportunities to get on track seem nearly endless. Despite all the options, at the end of the day there are a handful of things enthusiast must consider when deciding on a track day. Obviously, which track is important. Most of us select based on which track we want to drive, or at the very least, which tracks are nearby. Next comes down to what is the track day experience like. How much time? Will I be with drivers whose experience level is like mine? Are the cars similar level to mine? And most importantly, am I going to have a good time? For many track enthusiasts the idea that the cars were much faster (or slower), or the group is cliquey or aggressive can make a break the experience.

Shift Brokers Advertisement Shift Brokers- Insurance For Car Enthusiasts

The other factor we hear a lot about is how track days can feel a little like a meat market. With the growth of track day operators there seems to be a growing divide between some of the larger operators, and smaller organizations that tend to a more personal feel. The desire for the later has led to a number of track day organizations focusing on events that retain that smaller, more intimate feel.

ShiftAtlanta’s first experience with Atlanta Driving Society goes all the way back to 2020. One thing we know from our experience talking to and reviewing them during this time is that their track days and organization don’t feel like a commodity. Back in 2020 we did an enthusiast’s spotlight and sat down with co-Founder Michael Orlando, and unsurprisingly found out that their organization started by simply wanting to create a way for them to get on track without the experience feeling like just another transaction. With the Atlanta track day scene entering full swing and heading into the Atlanta Driving Society 2023 kickoff April 15th at Atlanta Motorsports Park, we felt like this was a great opportunity to share our experience with their events and revisit the organization we first spoke with 3 years ago.

Driver Grouping

Picture courtesy of Point By Photography

If you haven’t driven a track day before, most events are broken up into what are called “groups” or “run groups”. These are based on a number of things, but with an Atlanta Driving Society event they are organized based on experience and the amount of instruction desired. While each track day organizer is different, most generally fall into three basic categories: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced, though not everyone’s definition is exactly the same. For Atlanta Driving Society they use these familiar categories, though split their novices into two groups based on the amount of instruction they want or need.

One place Atlanta Driving Society stands out from other track day experiences is the small run groups, capped at 30 cars per group. Even then, they often run smaller groups. At a recent recent at both AMP and Road Atlanta there were closer to 20-25 cars per group. That meant a lot more time driving, and less navigating traffic.

Driver Run Groups

Novice Instructed – drivers who need or want direct or additional instruction. These are usually first time drivers on track or those who haven’t been in a while that want direct feedback. Run groups last about 20 minutes in this group – so you’ll go out on track for 20 minutes of laps, which is about 10-15 laps.

Notice Solo – drivers who have been on track before, but maybe it’s been a while and they want a more relaxed environment or those who have a lot of driving experience but are new to the track or driving on track general. Drivers in this group want instruction, but don’t necessarily need extensive in car or hands on instruction. Run groups run about 20 minutes in this group – so you’ll go out on track for 20 minutes of laps, which is about 10-15 laps.

Intermediate – drivers with track experience or have driven this particular track before. Intermediate often want (dare we say, need?) some oversight, but generally have enough on track experience to handle themselves. With Atlanta Driving Society there is no formal instruction with the intermediate group, but instructors are available to provide tips and help when requested. We should note that instructor help is ad-hoc and as available.

Run groups run about 25 minutes in this group – so you’ll go out on track for 25 minutes of track time, which is 10-15 laps. This is the perfect amount of time to build repetition without excessive wear on most street driven cars.

Advanced – for those with extensive experience, this group is really about turning laps. Since most instructors have a lot of track experience and/or racing experience this is a chance to ask questions while getting direct feedback, but like most organizations, the advanced group just runs. Run groups run about 25 minutes in this group.

Getting On Track And The On Track Experience

Picture courtesy of Point By Photography

Drivers Meeting and Classroom

At every track day, and really any track or racing event period, there is a drivers meeting. This may be the drivers simply gathering around to hear a brief safety meeting. For other events it may be a formal classroom setting, particularly for novices or those with limited track experience.

Atlanta Driving Society does both, which we find to be ideal when dealing with both novices and experienced drivers. All drivers attend a brief drivers meeting, which outlines general safety rules such as passing zones, flag stations and areas of the track drivers need to be aware of. It also includes a brief run down of the run groups and timing.

For novice drivers there are an additional set of classroom sessions. It covers safety, track etiquette, flags, and concepts around driving on track.

Seat Time

Most track organizations talk about how much driving time you get, but at the end of the day it’s often about lap time per dollar. Atlanta Driving Society keeps it simple, so it’s easy to quantify.

Novice Solo/Novice Intermediate – Expect 120 minutes on track. This is pretty typical of most track days, and frankly, more than enough when combined with instruction and classroom time.

Intermediate/Advanced – Expected 150 minutes on track.

If you haven’t driven 2+ hours on track before, it’s a lot, so drivers tend to wind down later in the day. As these drivers thin out, Atlanta Driving Society will combine groups the two novice groups and the two intermediate groups.

On Track Experience

Picture courtesy of Point By Photography

The on track experience with Atlanta Driving Society doesn’t stray fair from what you’d expect.

Passing is by point by throughout the entire day. For novice drivers this includes specific passing zones (straights) with a point by and are always on the same side of the car for simplicity. Intermediate also has specific (straight) passing zones. Advanced drivers run point by for the full track, but can pass anywhere when pointed by.

Each group will go out at the start of the run window, usually self organized by faster cars/drivers, though the operators may help with suggestions. The group runs as open track during this period, so you can come on and off if needed. At the end of the time window, you’ll get a final lap white flag and then a checkered flag advising you to come in. During this time if you are in the next run group up, you’re getting organized and ready to go out on track.

Later in the day the run groups will feel less and less formal, and usually turn into open of a open track. While there generally is still separation of advanced (fast) and novice drivers, during those afternoon windows you can come and go as you please. We love this approach as it helps both with car wear and getting tired, breaking with the idea that you have to go full speed all the the time.

Skid Pad

For the season kickoff event, Atlanta Driving Society will also have the access to Atlanta Motorsports Park skid pad, in addition to the main track. If you haven’t had a chance to spend time on the skid pad at AMP, it’s definitely worth it. It’s a wet track skid back, including a complete 360 along with an uphill climb section.

It’s a great opportunity to learn the limits of your car and get some practice in wet conditions. It’s also a great entry into drifting.

Access to the skid pad is available with all registrations at the April 15th event and with all run groups. We’ll update this article if Atlanta Driving Society is going to open up the skid pad at additional events. It’s likely going to be based on turnout and how much the skid pad gets used.

First Track Day Experience

For first timers getting on track is often as simple as registering and showing up. Every track event has a minimum tech inspection qualification. Still, if you car is in good running order with reasonable remaining brake and tire life, chances are you are ready to get on track.

Gear Needed

The basic safety gear needed to join any track day are:

  • All drivers will need a SA rated helmet, 2015 or 2020
  • Long pants
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Shirt with sleeves

If you do not own your own helmet, rentals are available at most tracks (some free). Note that rentals are generally first come, first serve. On those hot summer days, you’ll definitely want to remember the long pants rule.

Tech Inspection

Example Track Day Inspection Form – NOTE: This may not be specific to Atlanta Driving Society or Atlanta Motorsports Park

In addition to the tech sheet above, we suggest focusing on these items which are typically important during most track day tech inspections:

  • All lug nuts on all wheels (usually no exceptions)
  • Battery tied down
  • Nothing loose on the interior
  • Nothing leaks (no oil, coolant, etc)

We also highly recommend avoiding a track day until your vehicle is fixed if you have any of these issues:

  • Doesn’t shift well
  • Has problems with overheating
  • Has improper alignment/tire wear
  • Any issues with the braking system
  • Any non functioning portion of your safety system (seat belts, seat, etc)

Wear Items

Track days can be pretty hard on your car, certainly more than an autocross, drag racing or spirited mountain drive. Still, you don’t need brand new tires or brakes to run a track day – just ensure your car is in good working order.

  • We generally recommend about 50% tire life left
  • We generally recommend about At least 50% brake life left
  • Good alignment/no tire wear issues

The amount of tire life needed really depends on the tire. A very aggressive tire is going to wear more quickly than a sporty all season. So consider these rules of thumb, particularly if you are new and not hard and fast rules.


Picture courtesy of Point By Photography

One thing that we’ve discovered about Atlanta Driving Society, and that we’ve seen increasingly with track day operators, is a growing sense of community. More than just “a track day”, operators like Atlanta Driving Society draw a repeat set of enthusiasts who known and love the operators and their tracks.

As we’ve seen with everything, people start as novices and work their way through their experience, finding the right track day organizer can lead to a long term relationship. We at ShiftAtlanta believe strongly in what we call the journey – the idea that while nobody should feel they have to move between stages, most car enthusiasts (particularly track enthusiasts), start as novices at develop over time.

In our experience, Atlanta Driving Society is one of those organizers that embraces this approach. The idea that you aren’t just coming in the door as a novice and only worth a track day entry transaction, but that there is an opportunity for you to progress, and a relationship to build. Even if you are an experienced driver, learning each track can be its own progression.

While Atlanta Driving Society is still formalizing building that culture, it’s been exciting to see that develop. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here… more tracks, bigger events, expanding into car control and other forms of track days. It’s good for the scene, and frankly, it’s good for what ShiftAtlanta is about – getting you out doing more with your car.

Atlanta Driving Society Schedule 2023

Image courtesy of Atlanta Driving Society and Point By Photography

In addition to the season kickoff at Atlanta Motorsports Park on April 15th, Atlanta Driving Society will host additional events throughout 2023. They will also have a track day in June at Road Atlanta, which if you haven’t driven it, is a must do experience for any car or track enthusiast.

July 2023

Atlanta Driving Society Track Day @ AMP July 8th – Join Atlanta Driving Society for their High Performance Driving Event at Atlanta Motorsports Park Saturday July 8th.

Looking for Track Day Insurance for Atlanta Driving Society on July 8th? Shift Brokers is sponsoring with Atlanta Driving Society to offer multiple track day insurance options.

You can learn more at their official website or click here to register.

August 2023

Atlanta Driving Society Track Day @ Road Atlanta August 5th and 6th – Atlanta Driving Society’s Track Day on August 5th has been moved from Atlanta Motorsports Park to Road Atlanta, and will now encompass the entire weekend.   Atlanta Driving Society high performance events focus on smaller groups meaning more open track time.

You can learn more at their official website or click here to register.

November 2023

Atlanta Driving Society Track Day @ AMP November 25th – Burn off your turkey hangover with Atlanta Driving Society’s Track Day at AMP Saturday November 25th. 

You can learn more at their official website or click here to register.

Atlanta Car Events Calendar

You can find the full list of Atlanta Driving Society events, as well as a complete list of car events in the Atlanta area on our calendar.


We’d like to thank Point By Photography for supplying the photos used in this article.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button