Mount Panorama records set to tumble in Hillclimb title
More than 140 entries have been received for the Bathurst Real Estate Australian Hillclimb Championship at the iconic Mount Panorama from November 2-4.
Each competitor will be allowed three runs per car, per day for the event that is organised by the Bathurst Light Car Club.
The 1.7km climb starts on the Mountain Straight hump and finishes near the police compound immediately before the McPhillamy Park gates.
Sydney driver Tim Edmondson holds the outright record for the course in his Gould with a 39.35s run. However, he has been under that time in club events, which means the time does not count as the open record – a 37.69secs.
While it is the first time the Mountain Straight course has been used for an Australian championship, a round of the NSW Championship and BLCC end-of-season Speed Weekend is conducted annually.
In 1938, the year Mount Panorama open as a race circuit, the track’s first hillclimb was conducted on the Mountain Straight side of the circuit by the Light Car Club of NSW, and saw the legendary Bathurst driver George Reed win on the dirt surface in his ’34 Ford Roadster.
The Australian Hillclimb Championships have been run at Mount Panorama on seven occasions, all on the Esses course, starting in 1956, when it was run by the Australian Racing Drivers Club and won by the late Lex Davison in his Cooper Vincent.
The remaining six were organised and promoted by the BLCC, starting in 1967 when Greg Cusack won in the David McKay-owned Scuderia Veloce Repco Brabham, and then again in 1976 when the event was run in partnership with the Manly-Warringah Car Club and won by the late Peter Hollinger in his Hollinger Repco.
It was next run locally in 1996 when Wollongong’s Peter Gumley won the first of an amazing 10 championships driving his SCV.
The Australian Hillclimb Championship is the second longest running motor sport championship in Australia, behind the Australian Grand Prix.
The Western TAFE Auto Repair Crew from Bathurst TAFE will be at the event with their equipment to assist competitors. They do the weekend for free and the service is greatly appreciated by competitors especially those misfortunate enough to crash.
As well as outright competition there are also 30 classes based on the car’s engine capacity within 12 categories.
Admission is by gold coin donation with all money going to the Centre for Kidney Research.
McPhillamy Park will serve as the event headquarters, pit area and campground.