The new Atlanta Motorsports Park in north Georgia is billed as the home of the “100 mph lunch,” where high-end owners of high-performance sports cars can channel their inner Andretti on a custom-designed, two-mile race-type course authored by the renowned Formula One architect Hermann Tilke.
Then, tinkering with their speed toys or cooling their tires after a spin, club members can retreat to their customized garages to refuel with R&R, beverages, and man-cave bonding.
If the garage belonging to park owner and CEO Jeremy W. Porter is any kind of a template of the shape of man-caves to come here, these are a far cry from your typical greasy, grimy attached garages. With a brightly colored and decorated concrete floor, Porter’s garage gleams brighter than the finish on a Ferrari.
Porter calls his creation a “motor-sports country club,” and says members are free to act out their racing fantasies on the course, with speeds of up to 160 mph clocked on the track.
“They’re getting competitive with what they do,” says Mike Jensen, owner of Atlanta Concrete Artist LLC.
Actually, he’s talking about the members’ concepts for their garages, not their speed or their cars.
These garages are being outfitted with kitchens, lounge areas and other amenities for parking the Porsche. Jensen’s Atlanta Concrete Artist, a Motorsports Park sponsor company, has won the designation of exclusive concrete finishing contractor for the garages.
Porter “had a dream” for the floor design, Jensen says. It presents a portrait of the motor-sports park’s two-mile course, complete with descriptive details of elevations, typical speeds attained at various points, and other features.
Jensen employed a mix of robust color, creative artistry and the stenciling device known as the Flattoo to fashion a small-scale depiction of the track on the floor surface of Porter’s garage.
Jensen huddled with Tamryn Doolan, CEO of Flattoo maker Surface Gel Tek, to craft a Flattoo that measures approximately 20 by 14 feet. For the floor surface, Jensen applied two coats of a polyaspartic coating, part of HP Spartacote’s Sparta-Guard system, in dark blue. The floor surface had been prepped with a diamond grind, followed by cleaning with vacuum and wet mop. A subcontractor, Douglasville, Ga.-based Transform Concrete LLC, was employed to grind the surface using an SASE PDG 8000 diamond grinder. The first pass used 25-grit metal-bonded diamonds, with 40-grit metals used for a second pass.
The blue coating is HP Spartacote’s Sparta-Flex Pigmented, a fast-curing, high-performance, two-component concrete coating.
The Flattoo was set in place on the dry, clean, newly coated floor, in 24 separate pieces. Then, in a step-by-step process, parts of the Flattoo were removed individually, followed by painting of the “negative” section of floor — the area where the stencil section had been removed.
In addition to the blue base coat, Jensen used a number of other colors for the stencil design, including silver and green, plus white for wording and red for highlights, all Sparta-Guard polyaspartic. The colors are in sync with the park’s theme colors of blue, silver, green, red (for certain parts of the track) and white (for wording) and are part of the park’s branding formula.
After the design was complete and allowed a one-day dry, Jensen gave the surface a light buffing with a cleaning pad followed by a solvent wipe using xylene. Then a clear coat, HP Spartacote’s Sparta-Flex Pure polyaspartic, was applied. A second coat was added to boost abrasion and chemical resistance.
The polyaspartic coatings are two-component materials that are mixed at the time of application. Colors are produced using tint packs that are added to the curing-agent component of the coatings. Pot life is approximately 20 to 25 minutes, Jensen says.
The choice of material was based on a combination of color, performance and quick turnaround, says Jensen, who typically does all decorative work himself — as was the case with this project. Exceptions are large commercial jobs, for which he calls in other skilled contractors.
The wow factor
Motorsports park owner Porter says his garage helped set the pace for design concepts to be dreamed up at his club, though he freely concedes his creation has already been lapped by others.
“What we were looking to do was have a garage to showcase for potential members,” he says. “And we wanted something unusual on the floor.”
The small-scale replica of the track design fit the bill. “Everybody likes to point to a corner and talk about how they took that corner,” Porter says.
Porter is also revved up about Jensen’s creativity.
“Mike nailed it,” he says. “It’s so perfect and beautiful. People walk in and say, ‘Who came up with this?’ It almost looks like a pool of water. It’s just astounding how good it came out. There’s definitely a wow factor.”
For another garage space at the Atlanta Motorsports Park, Jensen is using vibrant red and yellow colors with metallic coatings and adding chrome pinstripes for added bling. He’s again using HP Spartacote’s polyaspartic coatings for the job.
Jensen says he’s carved out a niche in decorative concrete based on highly customized, often unique and frequently “exotic” artistry, and says this specialization has proven to be pivotal to his success in a competitive market.
“I try to be the guy who can do something that not everyone can deliver,” he says. “It’s like the difference between hiring the roofing guy who just does shingles versus the guy who does Spanish tile, if that makes any sense.”
Project at a Glance
Client: Atlanta Motorsports Park; Jeremy Porter, owner and CEO
Contractor: Mike Jensen, owner, Atlanta Concrete Artist LLC | www.atlantaconcreteartist.com
Scope of project: Create a racetrack design on a garage floor using coatings and a Flattoo stencil.
Most challenging aspect: Ensuring the 24 parts of the Flattoo were placed so the sections of the track lined up exactly.
Products used: Surface Gel Tek Flattoo, HP Spartacote Sparta-Flex pigmented polyaspartic coating and Sparta-Flex PURE polyaspartic polyurea clear finish/sealer coating; SASE PDG 8000 diamond grinder