A Dummy's Guide To Mount Panorama

Our Greatest To Race

A Dummy's Guide To Mount Panorama

It's not hard to go fast at Mount Panorama.

50 per cent of the lap is going in straight lines.

But with passing opportunities few and far between across the top of the mountain, it pays to ensure you've got plenty of speed to get the job done on the way up or down.

There's also plenty of high grip, giving drivers and their engineers lots to play with in the months, weeks and days leading up to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

With seven compulsory pit stops on Sunday, teams will have to use their allocated 36 tyres wisely over the weekend.

It might sound like a lot, but after 6 practice sessions and multiple qualifying dashes, you've still got 1000 kilometres of hard as nails racing to think about.

So with a quick and incredibly short strategy briefing out the way, let's run you through all the different bits of the circuit.

 

HELL CORNER

The first of 23 turns on this magnificent track, Hell Corner has lived up to its name over the years, seeing more than its fair share of crashes. The panelbeaters (they call them fabricators these days) still hold their breath as the cars go through it, particularly on lap one.

Legend has it a tree stump once existed at this corner and was responsible for a number of motorbike crashes in the early years - some of them deadly.

 

MOUNTAIN STRAIGHT

On TV it looks like the steep bit on the rollercoaster before the fun begins, and that's not far from the truth. It's basically a scenic high speed jaunt up Mount Panorama and cars will push the needle to 250 km/h over its 1.1 kilometre stretch.

 

GRIFFINS BEND

Named after the Mayor of Bathurst we kid you not who cut the ribbon way back in 1938, allowing this piece of earth to become one of the world's greatest race tracks.

 

THE CUTTING

Another part of the track that does what it says on the tag. It's cut into the rock of the mountain and is one of the tightest corners on the track. Forget about overtaking here, unless you want to end up in a wall.

 

REID, SULMAN and McPHILLAMY PARKS

Otherwise known as the second home for the Bathurst die hards who camp nearby for the week leading up to the Great Race. It's also arguably the loudest part of the track for crowd noise. Highest too, with Sulman Park some 862 metres above sea level.

 

BROCK'S SKYLINE

The views here are extraordinary. But we're not here for that, we're hear for the racing.

The mindblowing views give way to a steep right hand corner beginning the descent down the Mountain. You'll also find a wall here packed with messages and tributes to the man they call King Of The Mountain, 9-time race winner, the late great Peter Brock.

THE ESSES

Yep, you guessed. The track here is named for its S-shaped bends as drivers continue the descend down the mountain. There's not much room for error here as the line of sight is limited coming down from Skyline. Instinct comes in handy... 

 

THE DIPPER 

This is a sharp corner near the bottom of the Esses which dips off as a steep, sharp left-hander.

Safety barriers never used to exist here, meaning drivers would have to rely on skill (and a little luck) to keep the car on the track

 

FORREST's ELBOW

We're not making this up. Jack Forrest was a motorcycle rider who scraped his elbow away after dropping his bike on this very corner.

It's a sharp left-hand turn that leads on to the high-speed...

  

CONROD STRAIGHT

Easily the fastest section of the track, the drivers here usually have no trouble blowing through the 300km/h on the dial. The descent down from the mountain continues and there's something of a drop before entering...

 

THE CHASE

Built in 1987, the Chase was only put into the track to ensure it met FIA rules for the World Touring Car Championship.

Because Conrod was deemed too long, the Chase was constructed to break up Conrod and create the fastest right hand bend in the land.

 

MURRAY's CORNER

The final turn at Mount Panorama before cars cross the finish line, it's a simple right-angled left-hand turn onto Pit Straight.

It's also the one you see on the TV news package right before the winners cross the line.

It's also handy for overtaking and holds fond memories for many, unless you're Bill Murray (not the actor), who crashed his Hudson during a race in 1946.

Let's jump in for a ride with Triple M's Greg Murphy as he takes you on a lap of Mount Panorama in this throwback video.

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