This is Atlanta with Alicia Steele

Watch Georgia Spring Karting Association on This Is Atlanta from PBA30 Atlanta's PBS StationGeorgia Sprint Karting Association

During the week, as you drive past Lamar County Speedway on state road 36 in Barnesville, the track sits quietly, seemingly long out of use and slightly overgrown with weeds.

But on weekends at the right time of year, the place comes to life with the high-pitched roar of the miniature racecars commonly known as go-karts!

Many members of the Georgia Sprint Karting Association grew up in the heyday of go kart racing, the late 1950s and early 60s. And some, in their adulthood, have set out to find and restore the karts they wished for in their youth.

Usually, vintage karts race in the Spring with modern karts competing all the way into the Fall, but the GSKA often gets together for “play days,” where drivers of both karts come together for informal “rat-racing” and fellowship. 

Teenager and relative newcomer Marisa Kearny might mix it up with karting legend Junior Neal, or vintage kart restorer John McCorvey will good-naturedly laugh it off as Hunter Johnson’s high speed racer laps his vintage Putnik. 

Some see karting as a cheaper, safer alternative to racing cars or motorcycles. “It’s the best bang for the buck in motorsports,” says vintage and modern racer Chip Berring.

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