One of our top 10 New South Wales Destinations:
The Bathurst 1000 (currently branded as the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for sponsorship reasons) is a 1,000-kilometre (620 mi) touring car race held annually on the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. It is currently run as a championship event for Supercars.
Widely regarded as the pinnacle of motor sport in Australia, the Bathurst 1000 is colloquially known as The Great Race among motor sport fans and media. The race concept originated with the 1960 Armstrong 500 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, before being relocated to Bathurst in 1963 and continuing there in every year since. The race was traditionally run on the Labour Day long weekend in New South Wales, in early October. Since 2001, the race is run on the weekend after the long weekend, normally the second weekend in October.
Race winners are presented with the Peter Brock Trophy. This trophy was introduced at the 2006 race to commemorate the death of Peter Brock. Brock is the most successful driver in the history of the race, winning the event nine times, and was also known as one of the most popular and fan-friendly drivers during his long career.
Bathurst 1000 Camping on “The Mountain”
Although there are many hotels, motels, cottages and home-stays in and around Bathurst, as well as a multi story hotel on-track, the most popular form of accommodation for this iconic weekend, or week for a lot of race goers, is a camp site in the many camping areas on “The Mountain”, around the perimeter of the track. Campers start setting up a full week before the great race and a large village develops during the ensuing days. The top of Mount Panorama is the domain of the true rev heads, with groups of, predominantly males, setting up camp for a week of male bonding and frivolity, where as the lower two thirds of the track is taken up by more conservative families and kids. It is truly one of Australia’s premier sporting events and not to be missed on your Australian adventure.
Bathurst 1000 – Mount Panorama
The Mount Panorama Circuit was opened in 1938, and first used for the 1938 Australian Grand Prix. The track follows public roads and is known for its 174-metre difference between its highest and lowest points. The first turn, Hell Corner, is a ninety-degree left-hander. Mountain Straight, a gentle climb where the cars reach speeds of 255 km/h (158 mph), leads into Griffin’s Bend, an off-camber right-hander which then leads into The Cutting, a sharp left-hander with a steep incline. Reid Park follows, a complex corner where a number of drivers have spun after not short shifting at the apex. The course continues down to Sulman Park and McPhillamy Park. Drivers are unable to see the descending road and enter Skyline and the first of The Esses at 220 km/h (140 mph) before The Dipper, one of the most famous corners in Australian motor sport. Cars then negotiate Forrest’s Elbow before powering down Conrod Straight, the fastest section of the track where cars can reach 300 km/h (190 mph). The Chase is a long sweeping chicane where cars are on the rev limiter turning at 300 km/h before a large braking zone to exit at 130 km/h (81 mph). Murray’s is the 23rd and final turn, and also the slowest part of the circuit, before cars return to the start-finish straight. The start-finish straight features an offset start, with the finish line towards the back of the starting grid closer to Murray’s Corner.
Spectator areas have spread along the track over the decades but there are a number of private properties bordering the track so spectators are unable to access all trackside vantage points. Spectator vantage points have also become less intimate to the track over recent years, with increased run-off size and debris fencing being installed around the track due to increasing Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile standards.