Plans for a second Bathurst track at the foot of Mount Panorama were given the green light at a recent public meeting, reports Austrialian publication eNews.
The meeting was reportedly attended by Bathurst residents, motorsport enthusiasts and politicians, who all agreed a second racing venue would bring great economic benefits to Bathurst and the centralwestern NSW region.
The circuit’s unique design allows for several configurations to be used, as shown in the map supplied by eNews. Allowing club or statelevel events to take place without the need for any of the existing Mount Panorama circuit’s public roads to be closed. On its own, the new track is 2.5 kilometres in length.
The new circuit can also be combined with some of Mount Panorama’s existing sections that include the Pit Straight, Mountain Straight and back on Con-rod straight which will create a 4.6km grand-prix style circuit suitable for classes that cannot race around the traditional Mount Panorama Layout due to its extreme elevation changes.
Former bike-racer Allan Cunynghame is the brain-child behind the track, he says the
new track could be used to attract highprofile events such as a round of the World
Cunynghame also received some valuable input from V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes during the planning stages for the circuit.
“My question to Craig was: ‘how would this be for a sprint round of the V8 Series?’” Cunynghame said. “He was very supportive to give me his time, because in the track design, I hadn’t put the proposal in front of a professional driver and I wanted to talk to someone from V8 Supercars, so I put the question to him. His comment back to me was that it would be a fantastic thing if you could have a premier endurance race at Mount Panorama, and a premier sprint round as well.”
The cost of the new circuit is estimated at $25 million. According to Cunynghame,
this funding would come from all three levels of government.
“If it’s going to happen at all, it will be a joint venture between the Federal and
State Governments, and Bathurst City Council,” he said.
“If you look at it from a business perspective, it would certainly bring a lot of industry and a lot of business to the Central West.”
State Member for Bathurst, Gerard Martin, is strongly in support of the new track’s construction. “This is a good way for the Government to invest in regional NSW, create economic development and create opportunities for people to work in the area,” he said.
Local racing identity Brian Nightingale says the new track would provide a much-needed extra racing facility in NSW, especially with Oran Park closing down. “They want to make Mount Panorama the home of motorsport, but it’s never going to be the home of motorsport when it only holds five race meetings a year,” Nightingale said.
Future progress with the new circuit now lies with State and Federal Governments,
who will meet to discuss funding for the facility.