It's The Most Fun You Can Have On Asphalt Without Getting A Ticket.To be honest, the CHP team couldn't have been more excited when we were invited to attend the annual Year One Experience at Road Atlanta. It was a no-brainer and took us all of about three nanoseconds to accept the request. We seized the chance and made our way to Braselton, Georgia, which is only a short, two-hour drive outside Atlanta. Our pilgrimage across the state landed us in the beautiful facility at Road Atlanta, which any right-minded motorhead would certainly call home.
Once every 12 months, Year One treats its customers and fellow manufacturers to a huge event-so big, in fact, that it's been dubbed "The Experience" because it incorporates so much of the aftermarket automotive industry. During the event, participants were given loads of opportunities to really get involved. That's the great thing about this event: It's not just any ol' car show. Traditionally, car shows are purely observer-based with no real interaction with the cars being viewed. The Year One event gets its participants involved with a pure "hands-on" environment. It creates a relationship-and that's important.
As participants cruised the grounds, they had a plethora of options at the tips of their fingers. They had the ability to join Air Ride Technologies' timed dry autocross, push the limits of acceleration and braking with SSBC's 0-60-0 mph challenge, or sign up for the Skip Barber racing school. If that wasn't enough, gearheads even had the chance to take parade laps around 2.54 miles of the Road Atlanta circuit in their own cars, or they could jump into the passenger seat of any number of vehicles from Air Ride or Detroit Speed & Engineering or even try out Year One's Forza Motorsports Camaro track car. What's more fun than blasting around a road course in the very cars that you see in the magazines?
If this still wasn't enough action, then a quick drive over to Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, brought you to where the heads-up racing was taking place. If you were a Year One participant, then you had the opportunity to flog your sled on the track to see what it was made of. Friday afternoon and evening were reserved for the test and tunes while Saturday and Sunday were left for ORSCA racing.
There was also plenty of ground to cover and mingle through for the showgoers. The car show field was packed with a ton of cars, featuring everything from completely stock showroom vehicles to wild custom creations, which were all competing for the acclaimed Year One Cup award. It's more than just a handshake or a trophy. It's an honor, and the winner is not only awarded a $5,000 Year One gift certificate, but also has the chance to be featured in a number of magazines and television shows.
This show is what it says it is: an experience, and one that you should try and make it to when it comes around again next year. Plan accordingly, though; you'll need more than a day to experience all that this show has to offer. Take a look at some of the items and vehicles we highlighted from the 2008 Year One Experience.