Experience Spotlights

Experience Spotlight: Atlanta Driving Society

Introduce Atlanta Driving Society

Atlanta Driving Society was founded by two friends who wanted to help the car community preserve the art and joy of driving. Our goal is to get drivers to experience their cars and develop their skills in a controlled and safe environment with an emphasis on seat time.

What do you do better than others?

We prioritize smaller run groups and try to maximize seat time. We also do everything we can to provide a relaxed environment where help and support is always accessible.

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What prompted you to get started doing what you do?

The track is our happy place. It is a place that we can all put behind us any anxieties that life is throwing our way, even bring our families, and come together with others who we will immediately have
something in common with. We found that we had the capability and experience to share that with other enthusiasts and maybe even improve upon the experience along the way.

What’s the biggest car related disaster or fail you’ve ever witnessed? (build that went wrong, explosion, rat in the dashboard etc)

I have certainly seen my share of crashes, mistakes and the occasional car fires. But I will focus on myself for this one. My first car control clinic was at the age of 15 and after a weekend of sliding cars on skidpads, lane change exercises and autocross courses my dumb arrogance knew no bounds. Until one night, about a year later, I was driving way too fast down an unfamiliar curvy road and misjudged a corner. Before I knew it the car was on its roof at 70mph sliding towards what I was sure was my demise.
When the car came to a stop I remember laughing to myself out of shock that I was still breathing as I hung upside down from my seat belt. I walked away with some bruises and a lesson that I never forgot:
Never drive on roads as though it were a racetrack. On a racetrack you can drive to the absolute maximum of you and the car’s ability, but that has no place on the road with endless variables.

What’s the most significant win you’ve ever seen or experienced? (track correction/recovery, Dyno output etc)

I can’t help but think of an example from when I was a kid at Road Atlanta with my older brother. I can’t remember all of the details but the gist was this: An instructor was coaching a newish driver who was tracking his Ferrari (I can’t remember the model). They made a wager that if the instructor could lap the Ferrari (pass him and then make it all the way around the track to pass him again) with his Acura Integra
in one session then the Ferrari owner would allow the instructor to drive his Porsche GT3 at the next event. The instructor was responsible for letting the cars on track. Once all the cars, including the Ferrari,
were on track the instructor ran to his car in the paddock, drove through the pits and onto the track. That Integra successfully lapped the Ferrari in a single 20 minute session. The impression that was made on me was never forgotten. It didn’t mean that the Integra had some secret weapon of speed, or that the Ferrari was not an impressive piece of engineering, but that the difference was the driver and that was what mattered the most.

What is your favorite vehicle to work on/have on the track/drive?

I could ramble on about my favorite cars because I would change my mind halfway through each sentence. I lean toward old BMWs and Porsches as well as Japanese stuff like the 240sx and childhood dream cars like the Nissan Skyline. I can appreciate almost any sports car though. If it is light, fun and not terribly broken I’ll take it.

What do you wish was different about car culture/car people?

While I love the car community in general, I would like to see it be a little more accepting at times. I think we should remember that while it is fun to look at other enthusiast cars and imagine what we would do, just remember that what matters is that the car makes the owner happy. Not us.

What advice do you have for car people?

Keep it simple. If the way you enjoy your car is by driving it, either on a track, mountain road or to work every morning, then prioritize reliability. You don’t need a lot of power or the most expensive parts to enjoy driving your car or to be fast on a track. Some of the fastest drivers are ones who learned to be fast in low powered cars because they were forced to develop their skill.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or your business?

This is what we love to do and we love sharing it with others. If anyone ever has any questions about getting on track we are always more than happy to answer them whether they think they will sign up for
one of our events or not.

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