The CEO of a planned motorsports park in Dawsonville says a promotion offering free half days at the track for people who bring in a “Super Speeder” ticket is not encouraging folks to speed.
Meanwhile, opponents of the Atlanta Motorsports Park, planned for a tract of land off Duck Thurmond Road, say the recently announced Super Speeder promotion is evidence the track’s developers don’t have the community’s best interests at heart.
Earlier this month, the park issued a news release over the Internet offering a T-shirt and a free half day at the track to anyone who brings a Super Speeder ticket to the park.
The park is being promoted as a place where people can bring high-performance cars for runs along a road course. The private facility is designed for participants, not spectators.
“With the new law in effect, AMP looks forward to a likely increase in customers,” the news release stated. The document further stated that the half day and T-shirt were “a nice perk for getting caught by the police for doing what comes naturally.”
Starting this month, Georgia drivers caught going 85 mph on a four-lane road or 75 mph on a two-lane road will be assessed $200 above the normal speeding fines. Fees collected by the new law will help fund Georgia’s trauma-care hospital centers.
Sam Horner, a vocal opponent of the track who lives across the road from the planned site, said the promotion is insensitive and irresponsible.
“To me it just says they’ll try to make money at any cost,” Horner said. “It’s one thing to promote your track, but to offer a reward for criminal behavior, I don’t think that’s right.”
Jeremy Porter, CEO of Atlanta Motorsports Park, said the original news release posted on the Internet was replaced because the authors of the document “made it sound like we encouraged people to speed.”
“By no means would I ever promote people to speed and to get a ticket,” Porter said. “What we’re basically saying is, don’t drive fast, and if you do, we can provide a place to drive fast safely without endangering others.”
Those who present the ticket would get a T-shirt reading “I learned my lesson — AMP is the only place to drive fast and safe,” Porter said.
“What we’re trying to do is get these speeders off the public roadways where they could endanger and hurt others,” he said.
Porter noted that folks ticketed as Super Speeders are looking at paying upward of $500 in fines. A half day at his track would cost less than $200, he said.
“Why would you do something where you would have to pay $400 to $600 when you could come here for the whole day for that?” he said.
Porter said the facility will donate track time for teen driver programs and law enforcement training.
Despite an ongoing lawsuit filed by track opponents challenging the rezoning of the site, Porter anticipates breaking ground for the facility soon. He hopes to have the track portion of the park built by the third quarter of this year.
Porter estimated the facility could have a “ripple effect” of $30 million to $60 million each year on the local economy.
Porter said the park already has sold more than $1 million worth of memberships and drawn interest from several sponsors.