Drifting enthusiasts love Atlanta. They can legally race their cars in Turner Field's parking lot six times per year. But if one Atlanta city council member has her way, that will all end soon.
Drifters went on camera with Atlanta's WSB Channel 2 News, expressing outrage that the city council would consider forcing them out of bounds, taking away the safe legality their sport now enjoys at Turner Field. After all, drifters gonna drift, so if it's outlawed, its proponents will become outlaws.
Drift proponents responded to the proposed ban with an emergency Facebook page and a petition. So far, the Save Drifting in Atlanta Facebook page has attracted more than 8,600 members, and a petition to Atlanta mayor Kaseen Reed to veto the ban has racked up 6,250 signatures.
The ban was spearheaded by councilmember Carla Smith, who represents the district in which Turner field is located, because neighbors complained about the noise. We reached out to her for comment, and although she wasn't available, councilmember Howard Shook, who also supported the ban, said that the city has received between 300 and 400 complaints about the drifting race. Turner field is located in what Shook described as a dense urban area that is "genrifying quickly."
Drifters say the ban discriminates against them since other motorsports events are allowed in the same space. From the petition:
There are currently other organizations which hold motor sports events within the City of Atlanta, specifically at Turner Field. These organizations include Auto cross events, Gymkana events, and automotive dealership test drive / moral boosting events. To target Drifting in the midst of these other events is simply discrimination.
I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the audio mixing Channel 2 used in their report made it difficult to hear correspondents' voices over the din of a drifting BMW. That's ok, the snarling Bimmer undoubtedly sounded cooler than whatever it was they were saying.
We reached out to Carla Smith, Turner Field and Kelly Lewis (who started the pro-drifting Facebook page and petition) for comment. (Hat tip to Sam and karmakid!)
Photo Credit: Jburns00