There are a few automotive events that I try not to miss each year, the Classic Motorsports Mitty is one of them. I really can't remember not going to the Mitty. It is just one of those things I look forward to every year and this year was no exception. For those of you who don't know, the Mitty is a historics race hosted by Classic Motorsports Magazine and held at Road Atlanta. This year they honored Atlanta local Jim Downing as the Grand Marshall. You may not know Jim by name, but his racing history is legendary and he is also the co-inventor of the HANS device. The HANS device (Head And Neck Support) has saved countless race drivers from the same fate as the late Dale Earnhardt. The featured marque this year was Mazda and what an appropriate choice. Mazda is one of the most active manufacturers in the racing field. Their dedication to building, developing and assisting drivers shows just how serious Mazda is about the driving experience.
This year was the largest crowd I have ever seen at this event. I have also never seen so many competitors. The hot pits took up both sides of the front straight, plus down the hill into the overflow parking all the way to the grass. Racing rigs of all kinds were set up, everything from full tilt tractor trailer rigs and RVs, to single car open trailers and pop up tents. The great thing about this race is everyone is there for the same reason: to drive their cars they way they were meant to be. I love car museum, don't get me wrong. But there is something unnatural about a car just sitting in place for years. These cars were meant to be driven and let me tell you, some of these drivers have no problem holding the throttle to the floor and throwing their car around the course. And that is the way it should be.
You can't go to the Mitty and not mention the spectators. A big part of the event is the people who attend (and their cars). Along the infield you will see campers, RVs, pop up tents, and generally one big party going on. The hardcore people show up on Thursday night and camp throughout the whole weekend. Sometimes I think there is an impromptu BBQ contest going on as it seems that everyone has their grill or smoker going. More than once I was asked if I wanted to have a seat and burger while I walked around photographing the event. You just can't beat good car people hospitality.