The Mitty: 2015 preview

Tickets for Atlanta’s Mitty Challenge weekend selling at record levels

Tickets are selling at a record pace for the 38th annual Classic Motorsports Walter Mitty Challenge, scheduled for April 24-26 at the legendary Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Ga., northeast of Atlanta.

The Mitty has been sponsored by Classic Motorsports magazine since 2004. It is presented by Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.

“This year’s Mitty looks to be the biggest ever,” said Rick Goolsby, events manager for Grassroots Motorsports/Classic Motorsports. “All the VIP tickets are sold out and regular tickets have already been sent to 26 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.”

The Mitty began in 1978 when a group of Georgia motorsports enthusiasts got together at Road Atlanta to run their classic cars at speed, and it has grown into one of North America’s most prestigious vintage racing events. Martha Turner, then editor of the Jaguar Marque, attended the first gathering and dubbed it the great “Walter Mitty Challenge” after James Thurber’s 1939 short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Thurber’s story is about a man whose daydreams are much more exciting that his reality. In a 1947 film adaptation, Walter Mitty dreams of being a race car driver.

Goolsby said Mitty event, sanctioned by Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR), attracts a diverse lineup of legendary machines from all eras — Can-Am, F1, Trans-Am, Camel GTP and NASCAR – and brings them back on track “just as they raced in their glory years.” More than 300 cars are expected. The featured marque is BMW.

New this year is a one-day classic car rally from Coker Tire headquarters in Chattanooga, Tenn., to Road Atlanta on Friday, April 24. Nearly 100 cars have been entered in the road rally.

On Friday and Saturday, GT Radial will host a test-drive experience in which participants sample three different kinds of GT Radial tires: the extreme-performance Champiro SX2, the ultra-high- performance Champiro HPY, and the ultra-high-performance all-season Champiro UHPAS. The test drive is open to licensed drivers aged 18 and up, and there is no charge to participate.

The fun-filled Concours d’Lemons – a celebration of the odd, original and overlooked –will be held Sunday.

A weekend Superticket (Friday-Saturday-Sunday plus parking) is $75. Individual day tickets and parking are also available. RV camping is $35.

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