Co-Founder Earl Walker To Serve As Grand Marshal at 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans

Thursday, Sep 24 484

In the spirit of celebrating Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta’s 50th anniversary year, one of the three original founders of the racetrack, Earl Walker, will serve as the Grand Marshal at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans.

As the track celebrates five decades of some of the greatest racing in the world, we are honored to celebrate Mr. Walker as one of the reasons this world-renowned facility came into existence. He and his partners had an idea to build a ribbon of asphalt in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains and since it’s inception in 1970, this racetrack has seen some of the most acclaimed teams, series, drivers and cars in all of racing history try their hand at finding victory on it’s 12 turns.

Mr. Walker graduated from Georgia Tech and worked in the aerospace industry from 1961 through 1967. During this time, he met future business partner Dave Sloyer at Lockheed Martin in Marietta. Walker and Sloyer got involved in sports car racing and decided that motorsports fans from the Atlanta area needed a place to race, and the idea for Road Atlanta came to be. They enlisted a third partner, former Coca-Cola president Arthur Montgomery, to help build the racetrack and the rest is history.

Racing fans around the world owe much to Earl Walker and his partners and their vision to create this amazing facility and we are proud to pay tribute to his contributions by having Mr. Walker serve as Grand Marshal at Motul Petit Le Mans this year.

 

A BMW M8 and BMW M5 LCI will serve as the Official Safety and Pace Car at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans, respectively.

This marks the third consecutive year that the BMW brand will fill these important roles, as the pace car will lead the field of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams to the green flag and will pace the competitors throughout the race. BMW will also activate at the 10-hour event in the form of prominent trackside signage.

BMW currently sits second in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship manufacturer’s points standings, just eight points behind the leader. With two BMWs competing in the GTLM class at Motul Petit Le Mans, the manufacturer has the opportunity to take the lead as the series heads into the penultimate race of the season following Motul Petit Le Mans.

 

As a reminder – there will be a number of new policies and procedures that will be in effect for the safety and comfort of all fans at the 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans, as outlined below. Although attendance will be limited, we have not yet reached capacity for the event and tickets are still on sale for one of the greatest fall traditions in the South!

Attendance Limitations: The 23rd Annual Motul Petit Le Mans crowd size will be limited to 50% of historical Motul Petit Le Mans attendance. This will create a possibility that tickets will not be available at the gate, but updates will be communicated frequently.

Camping Sales Closed: To ensure that campers maintain proper distance and all can be accommodated safely, camping sales have been discontinued. All previously purchased reserved and non-reserved camping will be honored. All non-reserved camping will be limited to the following areas:

  • Family Camping area inside Turn 3
  • Infield Camping A
  • Infield Camping B

Camper Staging: Campers can start staging on Sunday, October 11th at 12 noon. Non-reserved campers will begin staging in the lanes next to the ticket booths. Reserved campers and Ultimate Fans who have an early entry ticket will stage behind the FOX Factory building.

Gates open to Reserved campers and Ultimate Fans who have an early entry ticket Tuesday morning at 8am. Gates open to non-reserved campers at 8am Wednesday morning.

Free Parking: In an effort to limit guest interaction, all infield parking will be free with admission to the event, with the exception of the designated car corral locations. Spectator shuttles will not be available. Previously purchased parking passes have been refunded. To maximize parking locations, fans will be permitted to turn left at the FOX Factory drive-over bridge upon entry into the facility. The following areas will be available for day parking:

  • Turn 3 Parking
  • Turn 9 Parking
  • Spectator Hill Parking
  • Turn 10 Parking
  • Tower Paddock (Saturday only)

Fan Access: Fans will not be permitted into the Infield Paddock, which houses the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams. Fans will not be permitted into the Tower Paddock Wednesday through Friday but will be allowed to park in the Tower Paddock after teams vacate the area Friday night. Fans may not enter the facility through the industrial park gate. There will be no autograph sessions and the gridwalk will be closed to general admission spectators.

Gate Procedures and Infield Policies: All guests will be required to bring and wear face coverings when interacting with those outside of your group. Each guest will be screened prior to entering the event gates; initial screening will include questions regarding current health status and potential exposure, as well as a non-contact temperature check. Individual bottles of hand sanitizer will be provided to guests upon entry. Strict adherence to the CDC-recommended 6’ social distancing will be mandated onsite.

Podium Club: The Podium Club, which is an all-inclusive hospitality that encompasses the first floor of the Michelin Tower, will be capped at 50% capacity. There will be a number of additional social distancing and sanitation measures in place, but all the amenities will still be available. As of now, the Podium Club is nearing capacity.

Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway almost 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

Contact Adam: Email