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Mount Panorama - Track Review

Starting out as a simple dirt track and tourist drive in 1938, it has evolved into a true motorsports mecca.

Jan 9, 2012 SHARE

Mount Panorama

Location Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
Track Configuration 6.213km (3.86 miles), 23-turn counterclockwise circuit
Elevation Change 174 meters (570 feet)
Longest Straight 1.916 km (6282 feet)
Other Facilities Pit complex, pro garages, luxury suites, media center

G’day mate! It’s time to throw some shrimp on the barbee, hoist a few Tooheys Extra Dry and take a closer look at a not-so-little piece of the land Down Under. If you’re a fan of the Aussie V8 Supercars series (and you should be, because the racing is downright awesome), then you’re no doubt familiar with Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit and the Bathurst 1000 race that’s made this totally unique piece of tarmac world famous.

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The spiritual home of Australian motor racing, Mount Panorama is just a 2.5-hour drive west of Sydney through the scenic Blue Mountains along the Great Western Highway. Starting out as a simple dirt track and tourist drive in 1938, it has evolved into a true motorsports mecca, having hosted 46 consecutive Bathurst 1000 races. But the Mount hasn’t lost touch with its roots, remaining a public road and popular tourist drive to this day (when not in use for racing). However, unlike the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Mount Panorama has a 60 km/h speed limit, so unfortunately you can’t try to emulate the great drives of Australian racing legend and “King of the Mountain” Peter Brock.

But this doesn’t mean a visit to Mount Panorama is boring. Driving around this dramatic circuit is pretty breathtaking even at a relatively sedate 60 km/h, with the steep uphill climb from Hell Corner all the way to Skyline only being outdone by the even more dramatic descent through The Esses and Forrest’s Elbow. Sure, the insanely fast downhill Conrod Straight and the fastest Touring Car corner in the world, The Chase (taken at close to 300 km/h in a V8 Supercar), is a bit of a yawnfest at the posted speed limit, but it does send you on your way to Murray’s Corner, where the National Motor Racing Museum is located. Here you’ll find an impressive collection of motorcycle and car racing memorabilia, and once you’ve had your fill of Aussie racing history there’s a winery and restaurant on the Mount to fill your stomach.

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It has evolved into a true motorsports mecca, having hosted 46 consecutive Bathurst 1000 races.

There are countless video clips of epic V8 Supercar battles on Mount Panorama on YouTube, but one of our favorites is an in-car view during a Lotus Elise 1 Make race. The driver clearly has balls of titanium and an intimate knowledge of the track, both of which allow him to slice through the field from the back of the pack in half a lap. Nutty stuff, and more than worth seeking out on YouTube by searching for the video named “Lotus Elise Racing at Mt. Panorama in OZ.” For a more thorough look at Mount Panorama and the history of V8 Supercars at this circuit, flex your YouTube muscles one more time and watch the video simply entitled “Bathurst V8 Supercars.” If this video doesn’t give you goosebumps, you need to head to the hospital immediately because you’re clearly in a coma.

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