Bathurst – Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit (also known as Wahluu by the Wiradjuri people, or often simply Bathurst) is a motor racing track located in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, opened 17 April 1938. It is best known as the home of the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race, held each February, and the Bathurst 1000 motor race, held each October.
The track is 6.213 km (4 mi) long, and is technically a street circuit, as the circuit is a public road when no racing events are being run, and there are many residences which can only be accessed from the circuit. The track is an unusual design by modern standards, with a 174-metre (570-foot) vertical difference between its highest and lowest points, and grades as steep as 1:6.13.
From the start-finish line, the track can be viewed in three sections; the short pit straight and then a tight left turn into the long, steep Mountain straight; the tight, narrow section across the top of the mountain itself; and then the long, downhill section of Conrod Straight, with the very fast Chase and the turn back onto pit straight to complete the lap.
The The Mount Panorama Circuit is known as one of the most fearsome circuits in the World. It also has the fastest corner in touring car racing, in turn 20 (the Chase). French sportscar driver Alexandre Premat, who later raced as a V8 Supercar regular, once described the circuit as “”A mix of the (Nürburgring) Nordschleife, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca””. German Maro Engel also described the circuit as the “”Blue Hell””, as a play on the Nurburgring’s nickname “”Green Hell””.
The Pit straight of Mount Panorama, which is adjacent to the pit complex, has a different start line and finish line. For the standing start only, the start line is 143m closer to Hell Corner so that all the pit bays are located after the finish line for lap counting purposes. The start line is located where it is so that traffic does not go too far around Murray’s Corner when the start grid is formed.
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