We headed down to Road ATL last weekend to attend and drive at Gridlife South 2017, and before I go any further, I want to give a HUGE shoutout to our photographer Ando for dedicating his weekend to capturing all of the festivities and cars for our readers.
I showed up Thursday night to tech the S2000 in and meet with friends, the grid was literally packed to the brim already and I got the last trailer slot at the bottom of the hill. Even more drivers arrived after me that night as well as the following morning. This made getting to and from the track a little slow due to maneuvering around not only other cars and rigs, but spectators.
Drivers and teams from all over the east coast and even some from the West came to join in the fun. I ran in HPDE Advanced, with the goal of shaking down my car now that it is prepped. The car was not prepped for any Time Attack class in particular, being too stripped for one, and way too low HP for another. I used the weekend to shake the rust loose from my driver spirit. I set a conservative benchmark of 1:49:xxx. I ended with a 1:49:8xx. Next time I'm going for 1:43, but this car as it sits has a solid 1:40 in it. The Zestino Gredge 07R (240 tread) were phenomenal once I figured out what tire pressure they liked. They never got greasy, and stayed consistent for each 20min session throughout the entirety. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the car and am super excited for NCM this fall.
Between session and afterwards each day, we all hung out at our airBNB and grabbed food at local joints, we will do a separate feature on a local KBBQ restaurant called Iron Age.
The drifting each day was very structured and fun to watch. With professional and grassroots drivers both killing the original FD pattern. On Sunday, all of the drifters were given the green light to slide the full track. Seeing footage of Tuerk and crew initiating half way down T12 through the finish line is mindblowing.
It was great seeing old friends like Hertrech (who had tech issues all weekend), and some of the style teams like Garage Moon Power. The OG falken livery cars were out laying down many tandem runs. Everyone put on a good show, leaving rubber and smoke throughout the entire venue.
I met many new S2000 faces that I never saw back in my AP1 days, and a ton of Georgia natives that are WAY faster than I am on the track.
Ludacris was the headline act this year, and being a Luda fan is the only thing that saved this show. The gig was very short and rushed, with him performing 30sec bits and pieces of songs he was featured in. He only did 2-3 full songs from albums like Chicken and Beer. In the end, we all got to say we saw Ludacris in concert, and it was fun! The night life once the track is cold is very wild.
Gridlife is an event you don't want to miss next year. We will hit both Midwest and South for sure. Go ahead and buy your tickets now. You absolutely will not regret it. It is my favorite automotive/racing event to date hands down.