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Tracks: Road Atlanta Driving Schools Undergo Major Changes

28 July 1998

BRASELTON, Georgia, -- The Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center, which has been operating street and competition road racing schools since the mid-1980s, plans a series of renovations to its current curriculum. The street driving programs will continue under the banner of the Panoz Performance Driving School. Competition road racing courses now will be known as the Panoz Racing School.

In addition, over the past three months new training facilities have been built at Road Atlanta. Crossovers between Turn 5 and the back straight create two new track configurations -- a four-turn, one-mile course, and a 1.78-mile, eight-turn course. These two additional tracks complement the original, 12-turn 2.6-mile Road Atlanta circuit. With three courses now available, a student can progress as his or her skill level increases.

To supplement the new courses, a training area has been created in the infield section between Turns 6 and 7. It includes a 300-foot skid pad and an autocross course.

"The construction of these new facilities will allow us to offer the best driver training program in the United States," says James Selwa, Chief Operating Officer, Panoz Motor Sports. "Our long-term goal is to move from a successful regional operation to a successful national operation."

Finally, production continues on the Panoz GT-RA, a two-seat, tube-frame race car, weighing 2,500 pounds and powered by a 250-horsepower, 5.0-liter Ford V8 engine. The GT-RA, developed in partnership with Visteon Automotive Systems, is the first purpose-built GT car produced exclusively for driving school use. To date, there are six cars at the Panoz Racing School, with production plans for a total of 20 vehicles to be completed by September.

"The improvements and additions to our two schools represent major steps toward the creation of the most comprehensive training center in the nation," says Jeff Purner, Manager of New Business Development at Road Atlanta.

The Panoz Performance Driving School and Panoz Racing School can be reached at 1-800-849-RACE or on the internet at