|Location||Hall County, Georgia, United States|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (UTC-4 DST)|
|Owner||NASCAR via IMSA Holdings, LLC (2012-present)|
|Opened||September 13, 1970|
|Former names||Road Atlanta (1970-2018)|
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Petit Le Mans (1998-present)
Grand Prix of Atlanta (1973-1992, 1994-1999, 2003, 2005, 2013, 2020)
MotoAmerica (1980, 1987, 1989-1990, 1998-2010, 2012, 2015-present)
Trans-Am Series (1972-1973, 1982, 1984, 1986-1987, 1989-1990, 1993-1995, 1999, 2002, 2009-present)
FR Americas (2018-2019, 2021)
Pirelli World Challenge (1990, 1993-1995, 1999-2009, 2011)
NASCAR Xfinity Series (1986-1987)
Can-Am Road Atlanta Can-Am
(1970-1974, 1978-1980, 1982, 1984)
Star Mazda (2004-2010, 2012)
|Grand Prix Course (1998-present)|
|Length||2.540 miles (4.088 km)|
|Race lap record||1:07.056 ( Christian Klien, Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, 2008, LMP1)|
|Motorcycle Course (2008-present)|
|Length||2.550 miles (4.104 km)|
|Race lap record||1:23.421 ( Ben Spies, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 2008, AMA Superbike)|
|Original Course (1970-1997)|
|Length||2.520 miles (4.055 km)|
|Race lap record||1:08.639 ( Davy Jones, Jaguar XJR-14, 1992, IMSA GTP)|
Road Atlanta (known for sponsorship reasons as Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta) is a 2.540 mi (4.088 km) road course located just north of Braselton, Georgia, United States. The facility is utilized for a wide variety of events, including professional and amateur sports car and motorcycle races, racing and driving schools, corporate programs and testing for motorsports teams. The track has 12 turns, including the famous "esses" between turns three and five; and Turn 12, a downhill, diving turn. The track is owned by IMSA Holdings, LLC through its subsidiary Road Atlanta, LLC, and is the home to the Petit Le Mans, as well as AMA motorcycle racing, and smaller events throughout the year. Michelin acquired naming rights to the facility in 2018.
In 1969, David Sloyer, Earl Walker, and Arthur Montgomery purchased a 750 acres (300 ha) plot of farmland in Braselton, Georgia, with the intent to build a world-class road racing facility. When a Can-Am race had to be canceled due to flood damage, the series organizers chose Road Atlanta to replace it. The track then began to take form quickly, taking only six months to excavate, grade, and pave the road course.
The first race was held on September 13, 1970. Vic Elford, in a Chaparral 2J, won pole and Tony Dean, in a Porsche 908/02, won the 300 km Can-Am event, with Stirling Moss as the Grand Marshal. Throughout the 1970s, more top-level series came to Road Atlanta, including Can-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA Camel GT, and Trans-Am. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) held their annual national championship, the SCCA Runoffs, at Road Atlanta from 1970 to 1993. The first road race in NASCAR Busch Grand National Series history took place at Road Atlanta in 1986.
The track was sold in 1978, and was passed from one owner to the next--culminating in bankruptcy in 1993 under the Whittington Brothers (Don & Bill). Business executives Frank Drendel, Jim Kanely, Eddie Edwards, George Nuse, and Bill Waddell formed a partnership to purchase the track. They spent the next three years making gradual improvements to the facility. New buildings were constructed, others were renovated, the track was widened and resurfaced and the grounds were landscaped.
In November 1996, Don Panoz purchased the track and made Braselton the base of operations for his motorsports-related ventures. Panoz introduced the first major changes to the track, removing the Dip and creating a chicane at the end of the long back straight. These changes brought the track up to FIA standards, so that international events could be held. A new pit and paddock area was also constructed on the infield side of the track, allowing for larger events, and a 10,000-seat terrace area was constructed around the new Turn 10 complex.
In 1998, major racing resumed at Road Atlanta with the first edition of the Petit Le Mans endurance race. The race attracted worldwide attention, and included entries from the Le Mans-winning Porsche factory team. The race would be the first race of the American Le Mans Series and included a spectacular accident where a Porsche 911 GT1 backflipped and flew into the side barriers. Petit has continued to be an annual event at Road Atlanta, and a marquee event in the ALMS.
Prior to the 2007 Petit Le Mans, the entire track surface was repaved. The works also included moving the walls in the esses away from the track, with the intention of improved driver safety and better sight lines for spectators. In the late winter of 2007/2008, the circuit was again modified with the reconfiguration of turns 4 and 12, for the ostensible safety benefit of motorcycle racers (the racing line for cars remained essentially unchanged).
In April 2008, Road Atlanta hosted the 4th stage of the Tour de Georgia, one of the largest cycling stage races in the United States. The stage was run using standard racing bikes instead of the more aerodynamic time trial bikes. Slipstream Chipotle won the stage with a time of 19:38.86, while Astana and Team High Road finished second and third respectively. Used in local cycling events, the circuit is run counterclockwise (in reverse), owing to safety issues from the downhill Turn 11 to Turn 12, creating a steep climb from Turn 12 to Turn 11, and a much safer route for cycling.
The October 2008 Petit Le Mans had a four-day crowd of 113,000 people with an average weekend crowd of nearly 80,000 fans. The race entry list includes a number of new and returning cars.
In September 2012, the track was purchased by IMSA Holdings as part of its acquisition of Panoz Motor Sports Group. The intention was to combine the Grand AM and American Le Mans Series. NASCAR K&N series has announced a return to the track in October 2013 as part of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
In 2020, Michelin Raceway hosted the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler: Extreme Hill Edition and 4k Races because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The track was also digitally created for Electronic Arts' F1 series ('01 - '02), then modded to be compatible with multiple PC games. Scratch-made versions of the track have also been created for rFactor, Papyrus' NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, and BeamNG.drive. It also appears in the PlayStation 2 game Le Mans 24 Hours and on iRacing.com.
The fastest official race lap records at Road Atlanta for different classes are listed as:
|Grand Prix Course: 4.088 km (1998-present)|
|F1 (unofficial)||1:01.200||Marc Gené||Ferrari F2003-GA||2018 Ferrari Corsa Clienti|
|LMP1 (official)||1:07.056||Christian Klien||Peugeot 908 HDi FAP||2008 Petit Le Mans|
|LMP2||1:08.489||Ryan Briscoe||Porsche RS Spyder Evo||2008 Petit Le Mans|
|DPi||1:08.869||Felipe Nasr||Cadillac DPi-V.R||2019 Petit Le Mans|
|LMP900||1:11.782||Allan McNish||Audi R8||2000 Petit Le Mans|
|LMP675||1:12.781||James Weaver||Lola EX257||2002 Petit Le Mans|
|DP||1:13.478||Olivier Pla||Ligier JS P2||2016 Petit Le Mans|
|GT1 (Prototype)||1:15.239||Allan McNish||Porsche 911 GT1-98||1998 Petit Le Mans|
|WSC||1:15.510||Didier Theys||Ferrari 333 SP||1998 Sports Car Grand Prix of Road Atlanta|
|Formula Atlantic||1:15.563||Jonathan Summerton||Swift 016.a||2009 Road Atlanta Atlantic Championship round|
|LMPC||1:15.871||Jack Hawksworth||Oreca FLM09||2014 Petit Le Mans|
|LMP3||1:15.942||Garett Grist||Ligier JS P320||2021 Petit Le Mans|
|LM GTE||1:16.233||Alexander Sims||Chevrolet Corvette C8.R||2021 Petit Le Mans|
|GT1 (GTS)||1:17.053||Jan Magnussen||Chevrolet Corvette C6.R||2008 Petit Le Mans|
|F3 Americas||1:18.707||Kyle Kirkwood||Ligier JS F3||2018 Road Atlanta F3 Americas Championship round|
|Star Mazda||1:19.242||Peter Dempsey||Star Formula Mazda 'Pro'||2008 Road Atlanta Star Mazda Championship round|
|GT3||1:19.310||Bryan Sellers||Lamborghini Huracán GT3 Evo||2021 Petit Le Mans|
|TA||1:19.505||Chris Dyson||Ford Mustang||2022 Road Atlanta Trans-Am round|
|GT2||1:20.407||Jaime Melo||Ferrari F430 GTC||2008 Petit Le Mans|
|US F2000||1:21.968||Sage Karam||Élan DP08||2010 Road Atlanta US F2000 round|
|Ferrari Challenge||1:22.845||Cooper MacNeil||Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo||2020 Road Atlanta Ferrari Challenge North America round|
|GT||1:23.163||Dirk Müller||BMW M3 GTR||2001 Petit Le Mans|
|TA2||1:24.373||Mike Skeen||Ford Mustang||2022 Road Atlanta Trans-Am round|
|GT4||1:26.215||Philip Ellis||Mercedes-AMG GT4||2020 VP Racing Stay Frosty 240|
|Formula 4||1:27.406||Skylar Robinson||Crawford F4-16||2016 Road Atlanta F4 United States round|
|TCR Touring Car||1:28.197||Denis Dupont||Audi RS 3 LMS TCR (2017)||2022 Fox Factory 120|
|Motorcycle Course: 4.088 km (2008-present)|
|AMA Superbike||1:23.421||Ben Spies||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2008 Road Atlanta AMA Superbike round|
|MotoAmerica (Superbike)||1:23.934||Danilo Petrucci||Ducati Panigale V4 R||2022 Road Atlanta MotoAmerica round|
|MotoAmerica (Supersport)||1:28.173||Sean Dylan Kelly||Suzuki GSX-R600||2021 Road Atlanta MotoAmerica round|
|North America Talent Cup||1:48.329||Alessandro di Mario||Aprilia RS250SP2||2022 Road Atlanta North America Talent Cup round|
|Original Grand Prix Course: 4.055 km (1970-1997)|
|IMSA GTP||1:08.639||Davy Jones||Jaguar XJR-14||1992 Nissan Grand Prix of Road Atlanta|
|IMSA WSC||1:11.670||Andrea Montermini||Ferrari 333 SP||1997 NAPA Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|Can-Am||1:14.000||Mark Donohue||Porsche 917/30 TC||1973 Road Atlanta Can-Am|
|IMSA GTP Lights||1:17.118||Parker Johnstone||Spice SE91P||1992 Nissan Grand Prix of Road Atlanta|
|F5000||1:17.265||Brian Redman||Lola T330||1973 Road Atlanta F5000 round|
|IMSA GTS||1:17.690||Steve Millen||Nissan 300ZX Turbo||1994 Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|IMSA GTS-1||1:18.803||Darin Brassfield||Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme||1995 Road Atlanta 3 Hours|
|Formula Super Vee||1:21.023||Mark Smith||Ralt RT5||1989 Formula Super Vee Road Atlanta - Round 7|
|IMSA GTO||1:21.616||Steve Millen||Nissan 300ZX Turbo||1991 Road Atlanta 300|
|IMSA GTS-2||1:22.151||Martin Snow||Porsche 911 GT2 (993)||1997 NAPA Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|Trans-Am (TO)||1:23.604||Paul Newman||Nissan 300ZX Turbo||1987 Road Atlanta Trans-Am round|
|IMSA GTS-3||1:24.022||Henry Taleb||Nissan 240SX||1997 NAPA Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|IMSA GTU||1:24.640||Bill Auberlen||Mazda RX-7||1994 Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|All American Challenge||1:26.638||Tommy Riggins||Oldsmobile Cutlass||1991 Road Atlanta 300|
|Stock car racing||1:28.453||Terry Labonte||Oldsmobile Cutlass||1986 Food Giant 300|
|IMSA Supercar||1:35.388||Doc Bundy||Lotus Esprit X180R||1992 Nissan Grand Prix of Atlanta|
|Trans-Am (TU)||1:39.932||John Morton||Datsun 510||1972 Road Atlanta Trans-Am round|
The facility is also home to the Skip Barber Racing School.
Qualifying for pole effectively ended in the first session when Mark Smith clicked off what would prove the fastest lap at the outset. His time of 121.023 eclipsed Geoff Brabham's 10-year-old record of 122.430