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Bathurst  (MT Panorama) Racing Circuit)

The racing circuit at Bathurst is "world famous" in Australia and New Zealand, as the track where over the past 30 years or more , the prime motor race event of the local calendar year takes place; the annual battle of the V8 Supercars at Mt Panorama. The race consists of 163 laps of the circuit (1000 km), and is so popular that the event is now televised all over the world.

The Mt Panorama circuit is unusual for two things:

1. The track climbs 174 m up the side of a mountain, crosses the top and descends back down to the start finish line at the bottom. (A total distance of 6.2 km. This means that the circuit has significant climb and descend grades (1 in 6.1) which are uniquely challenging to drivers and cars alike.
2. The circuit is also a public road, when not being used for racing. This means that anyone can go to Bathurst, and drive their private cars around the circuit (60 km/hr speed limit! :-( ).  In fact there are several private homes and businesses with their entrances directly off the track! 

Notes : 
1) The race circuit currently needs a A$20 million upgrade. There is some doubt that this will occur, so pressure is being applied to central Government to assist with funding. For more info go to (www.bathurst.nsw.gov.au). 

2) Bathurst township is an interesting 2 hours drive inland over the blue mountains from Sydney. 

A Virtual Tour of Mt Panorama

The two things you notice particularly about this track, if you go there and drive it, is how steep parts of it are, and also how very narrow the circuit is especially at the top of the mountain. In the table below are a series of photos taken of the circuit during a drive around the track in the direction that the race cars circulate. 

Some descriptions of the parts of the track are shown in the small map above. To access a larger map of the circuit which has the photo points embedded directly within the map, click here. 
 

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1 The view of the circuit as you approach the MT Panorama through the streets of Bathurst township. Bathurst1.JPG (91029 bytes)
2 The entrance as you approach the track. Bathurst2.JPG (102390 bytes)
3 From Murray's corner, where the approach road joins the circuit, looking backwards "up" the track under the Dunlop bridge. Bathurst3.JPG (37690 bytes)
4 From Murray's corner looking to the right along Pit Straight towards the start/finish line. Bathurst4.JPG (44054 bytes)
5 On the starting grid, on Pit Straight, looking towards the start/finish line and "Hell Corner" at the end turning to the left. Bathurst5.JPG (43965 bytes)
6 Looking up "Mountain Straight". Note the private house entrances off the track to the right, set into the white fence. Bathurst6.JPG (60330 bytes)
7 One of the private homes with entrance directly off Mountain Straight. What view off the front porch during the racing! Bathurst7.JPG (72947 bytes)
8  Griffins Bend at the end of Mountain Straight. Bathurst8.JPG (72507 bytes)
9 "The Cutting" (or BP Cutting). Reid Park Bathurst9.JPG (52601 bytes)
10 Approaching Sulman Park bend. Bathurst10.JPG (82492 bytes)
11 Heading towards Castrol Curve  Bathurst11.JPG (73605 bytes)
12 Castrol Curve, and Brocks Skyline...The top of the mountain Bathurst12.JPG (43724 bytes)
13 Heading down towards The Dipper and the Esses. Bathurst13.JPG (56665 bytes)
14 Heading into the  Dipper and the Esses. The circuit is very narrow here and the camber changes as you drop into the dipper are extreme. For track cars with rock hard suspensions, this section is chassis torture, and low front spoilers can get ground away. Bathurst14.JPG (98956 bytes)
15 The Esses Bathurst15.JPG (85432 bytes)
16 Approaching Forest Elbow Bathurst16.JPG (60178 bytes)
17 Out of Forest Elbow and looking towards Bathurst Goldfields, and the top of Conrod. Bathurst17.JPG (57958 bytes)
18 Out of the Goldfields and heading down Conrod Straight from the top; Its all downhill from here.. (Note: Photo # 19 was taken from the furtherest most point visible of the track in this image.) Bathurst18.JPG (45183 bytes)
19 The bottom of section of Conrod Straight approaching Caltex Chase. (Speeds down Conrod were getting so high, that The Chase was added in recent years to slow the cars before they reached the right angle bend at Murrays corner) Bathurst19.JPG (27731 bytes)
20 Entering Caltex Chase. The corner directly ahead is deceptively tight! Bathurst20.JPG (39119 bytes)
21 Out of Caltex Chase, and under Dunlop bridge, heading for Murray's corner (which is out of sight beyond the bridge). Bathurst21.JPG (47711 bytes)
22 Downwards towards  Murray's corner, with the pit entrance road on the left. Bathurst22.JPG (42900 bytes)
23 Pit lane. Pit Straight is to the right over the barricade. Bathurst23.JPG (51298 bytes)
24 The Australian National Motor Racing Museum, is located just to the left of the circuit entrance road near Murray's Corner. Bathurst24.JPG (43935 bytes)