Let me just start by saying Gridlife South 2018 was one of the best automotive events I have ever attended. For those who don’t know, Gridlife is an event that brings Time Attack, Drifting, Car Shows and Music Festivals all together to one place. It brings car enthusiasts from all over to be around what they love the most, no matter what kind of automotive activities they are into, there is something there for everyone. I have been to a few Gridlife Midwest events and they are also fantastic events, but something about Road Atlanta just made this event so much more memorable.
Since I’m from the midwest, Road Atlanta is quite a drive… roughly 15 hours. Because of that, I haven’t had the chance to make a trip out to this track till now, I’ve only ever seen pictures and driven on it in Forza. Let me tell you, seeing that track in person is absolutely mind blowing. Even with a golf cart I didn’t manage to get to explore the whole track, but that may have been because I was so distracted with the beautiful scenery along the way between different areas of the track. I got the chance to go out on track with my buddy Blake and being out on track not only shows the non-stop drastic elevation changes throughout the track but also how fast of a track it really is.
Unfortunately there are very few good spots to shoot from in the spectator area of the track once the crowds flooded the spectator areas and I didn’t get media credentials, but I still made do with what I had and did my best to capture the overall vibe of the track and cars out on track. Its always refreshing to see such a wide variety of cars out on the track, everything from full blown race prepped 458 Italia’s to Honda Odyssey’s.
On the topic of variety, one of my favorite things to see at Gridlife is professional drivers and cars driving side by side with grassroots drivers and cars. There were plenty of professional drivers who attended, some brought out their FD cars and some brought out their practice cars, but they were all out side by side with whichever drivers lined up with them.
Every drift session was filled with train after train, the drivers were on each others door every lap putting on an outstanding show for the crowd. The drifting was certainly a crowd favorite, every time the announcer would mention a drift session starting soon there would be floods of people rushing towards the track to see the festivities.
With all of the trains running through the horseshoe section of the track, it got very smokey and made for some very difficult but rewarding photo opportunities.
RADwood hosted a 80’s and 90’s themed show that brought out some very well kept and well built iconic cars from that era.
There was no shortage of unique swaps, such as an sr20 Cressida, 2jz Ford Fairmont Wagon, 2jz R34 Skyline, 2jz Saturn Sky… there was a common theme of 2jz everything.
I just couldn’t get enough of shooting so many rad cars on such a scenic track.
Despite being mostly about the cars, the festivities don’t end when the sun goes down, they just get more rowdy. They always bring out plenty of artists to put on a great show for everyone.
Everyone involved in making gridlife happen did a superb job of making it a truly unforgettable event, I will without a doubt be making the trip across the country again next year and hopefully I will have media credentials next year to get you all even better coverage. If you’d like to see my full photo dump from this event, you can check it out here. Feel free to follow me on instagram here to see what events I will be attending to shoot as well as see photos from past and future events.