- Category: Road Atlanta
- Published: Saturday, October 12 2019 11:02
Officials from IMSA, Michelin and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta dedicated the track’s most visible improvement with Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony outside the sparkling new Michelin Tower that hovers above the front stretch of the historic circuit outside Atlanta.
The 52,000-square-foot facility, four stories high with a viewing deck on top, houses three floors of hospitality and suite space as well as one floor for the media center and broadcast booths. In addition to race weekends, the tower is available to host events year round – even when no cars are on track.
The Michelin Tower further cements the relationship between the 50-year-old racetrack and the tire maker, which became entitlement sponsor of the facility in January. Geoff Lee, president and general manager of Michelin Raceway, and Alexis Garcon, chairman and president of Michelin North America, participated in the ribbon cutting as a host of IMSA executives – Chairman Jim France, President Scott Atherton, CEO Ed Bennett and IMSA Properties Vice President Rick Humphrey – looked on.
“Placing our brand name on this tower, on this racetrack, represents the commitment of Michelin to continue its innovation and is a mark of our dedication to motorsports and those manufacturers, racers and fans that share the same passion,” Garcon said.
The track has played host to premier sports car events since it opened in 1970. The tower replaced the old media center that was about 25 percent the size of the new facility. It was built in eight months after unusually wet weather delayed construction last November.
Lee, the track president, said the Michelin Tower is just the tip of the iceberg of improvements that he called a “game changer” for the track.
“It allows us to play in the marketplace with new stadiums and the NFL and NBA and so forth,” Lee said. “And it’s not just the building, of course. The Michelin effect here goes all around the facility. I hope you all take that in and enjoy it and keep seeing improvements that will benefit our corporate fans and our everyday fans.”
Garcon added that putting the Michelin name on the track and tower contributes to the tire maker’s racing legacy.
“We speak about the racetrack at Michelin being a laboratory for designing tires, building the best tires,” he said. “This track, with its incredible turns and elevation changes through the natural terrain of the region, has provided us an authentic proving ground for our tires. Our story runs deep on those grounds where we have been fortunate enough to have witnessed several decades of success here.
“We are proud of the Michelin history here and are excited about the new chapter that we will write all together. We are thrilled with our partnership with Road Atlanta and the iconic racetrack with the rich history and the natural connection to the fantastic heritage of the Michelin’s global racing.”
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta once again hosts the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finale this year. The Motul Petit Le Mans takes place Saturday, with live coverage on NBC (noon-3 p.m. ET), the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com (3-5:30 p.m. ET) and then NBCSN (5:30-10:30 p.m. ET).