Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dawson News & Advertiser: Motorsports park moves forward despite lawsuit

Plans for the future Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP) continue to develop with the announcement of a partnership with Tilke Engineers & Architects for the redesign of the track. Tilke has been involved with nearly every modern-era Formula One track constructed in the last 10 years, according to AMP developer Jeremy Porter.

The announcement comes a few weeks after West and Helen Hamryka filed suit against Porter, Atlanta Motorsports Park, the City of Dawsonville, Dawsonville City Council, and EHK (Ernie Elliott) Investments. Elliot is the seller of the property.

The Hamrykas own a home and horse farm across from the 152-acre car park site on Duck Thurmond Road, off Highway 53 West. The Hamrykas say they will be negatively affected by the presence of the park."We are committed to fight and save our home and community from this loud and offensive racetrack," said West Hamryka. "We are disappointed that the mayor and city council betrayed their own citizens in favor of special interest groups, and
I am confident that the voters will remember them on election day."

The suit claims that the defendants are responsible "for the unlawful interference of [the Hamrykas'] right to enjoy the possession of their property and for the disruption of their business."

However, the suit filed in Dawson County Superior Court is looking to block the construction of the park and for $3 million in damages, plus legal fees. But Porter seems unaffected."

Our investors and members laughed when they heard about the lawsuit," Porter said Tuesday. "This suit is abusing and frivolous."

Porter also mentioned that AMP had yet to be served with the lawsuit as of Tuesday.

According to Porter, the organization has sold more than $400,000 in memberships in the last 35 days.

"We've continued to move forward and do very well on memberships," said Porter.

AMP also is planning an unveiling party for the redesign July 30. Porter has stated that he still plans to break ground later this fall.

"We're expecting a huge ripple effect in the community with the businesses that will come with this project," said Porter.

Earlier this month, AMP announced a partnership with HFD1Motorsports, which provides trackside services and shop performance services to motorcyclists. HFD1Motorsports also services the motorcycle enthusiasts with shop services and maintenance of the motorcycle.

HFD1Motorsports and Balance Motorsports are currently looking at locating their headquarters at AMP. Porter also mentioned that AMP has already declined eight offers from companies interested in locating at AMP.

Porter said he was excited that the Skip Barber Driving School, which is the largest in the nation, will be the official driving school of AMP.

The lawsuit against the City of Dawsonville is claiming that the city failed to follow Georgia's zoning procedure by not requiring a Development of Regional Impact study. The suit claims that such a is required for any "mixed use facility."

On Tuesday, Dawsonville City Clerk Kim Cornelison said the city could not comment on any pending litigation.

AMP plans to unveil the design for the new driving course at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30, at Hennessey Porsche in Roswell. According to Porter, the new track will be the only Tilke track in the U.S. and will help make AMP the only eco-friendly motorsports park in the world.

Speed Channel Commentator Bob Varsha will be the master of ceremonies for the event. Guests will have the opportunity to study three-dimensional images of the new course. Atlanta Falcons' wide receiver Michael Jenkins and a number of other celebrities will be in attendance.