Have you ever driven around Mt. Panorama when it is a road at the speed limit and on left side?
Have you wondered what it would be like at speed and following racing lines in and out of corners?
Would you like to do sections of the track at your own speed and follow racing lines?
Is the thought Challenge Bathurst a bit of a stretch for you to compete in.
These Speed events are very well run by Bathurst Light Car Club (BLCC). The BLCC uses different sections of the Mount Panorama track to run their Hillclimbs. They also run “Supersprints” in this series where two cars drag race side by side down conrod to Murray’s corner and on the finish line on the main straight.
These are easy ways to sample the Mount Panorama circuit at speed under controlled conditions.
Racing on the full track like Challenge Bathurst is a big commitment and hard on cars and drivers. Running in events in this Series is less demanding on car and driver You are only doing a timed section of the track with a break between runs, but you still must have full concentration as the track is demanding.
You need a Motorsport Australia Speed license, helmet and a roadworthy car that will pass scrutineering to Supersprint standards.
The Esse’s Hillclimb
(clockwise – blue)
This is a good twist on the normal downhill section of the track and is still challenging. You head off one car at a time, on conrod straight about 200m before Forest Elbow, started by staging lights. Head up the hill and brake into Forrest elbow. From there you can power up the hill through several corners to the very steep Dipper, cut in as close to the wall as you dare. Then into and through the Esse’s. Watch the left into the Esse’s a there is a hump which can cause the rear end to step out, and then to Skyline and the finish line.
Mountain Straight Hillclimb
(anti-clockwise – green)
Starts on top of Hump on the Mountain straight, 1 car starting at a time by staging lights. Then it’s up to Griffin bend which is a good bend to practice your line. Try late entry and drift out on the exit. Then a slight curve before the Cutting which is a very tight left hand and steep. Keep as close to the wall as you can. Then drift out to inside of the track until you go under a tree, when you take a line to next corner’s apex under the overhead banner before cresting the mountain. Keep to the centre of track down to the grate, late entry, then drift out then to Sulmans Park and the finish line.
Conrod Straight Supersprint
(anti-clockwise – red)
You do a standing start by flag drop at the bottom of the hump on the straight, two cars side by side. It is a drag race so be ready for the flag drop. Go up the hump then down to the kink, where you can get up good speed – try to not brake, just back off a bit and then down into the Chase braking hard left then right, then down straight braking hard into Murrays corner. Power out but do not overdo it, as there are walls on both sides then up to the finish line on Main straight. This is a bit of a speed run. As you approach the corners at speed, you require good braking and cornering technique to complete the challenge in a competitive time.
Pits and dummy grids
The Pits for the Mountain Straight Hillclimb are located in the inner paddock behind the pit garages and the dummy grid is the area behind the scrutineering shed.
The Pits for the Esses’s Hillclimb and Conrod Straight Supersprint are located in the McPhillamy Park car park and the dummy grid is a sealed road heading to the track, just the other side of a fence.
Both areas have no undercover area, so be prepared if it rains. The inner paddock is fully sealed and McPhilamy Park has sealed roads but you may have to park support vehicles on the grass.
Toilets are available at both areas. They usually have a local food and coffee van onsite.
Entering and Sign on
Entry is very simple, just download the form from the BLCC website, fill it in and return it. Payment is required on entry and made via direct credit to BLCC bank account. They usually confirm your entry within 10 days. Sign in is just a check of your entry form and sight license and Logbook and you get a group running sheet.
Dates for these events in 2023 are below and in our Club Calendar.
March 4th – Round 1 of the NSW Hillclimb Championship – wrong way up the Esse’s
March 5th – Round 1 of the NSW Hillclimb Championship – up Mountain Straight
May tba – Conrod straight Supersprint. More information on this when it is available.
October 28th – Conrod straight Supersprint (Speed week-end)
October 29th –Mountain Straight Hillclimb (Speed week-end)
Entry dates will be published here when they become available.
Bill Vouden’s impression of these events
The events are kept to a minimal cost by BLCC and cost $180 last year. They try to get 7 runs per event. There is a lot of organising to be done and club members put in a great effort.
Last year Malcolm Michel and I both competed in the Esse’s Hillclimb and were then joined by Mick and Eva Fill for the speed weekend Supersprint and Hillclimb. This was a great weekend, which was covered in an article in the Oct.-Dec. edition of our Club magazine on page 50. Malcolm is a member of the HSV Club and Triple X Motorsport. Mick and Eva Fill have now joined the HSV Club with their Triple X Motorsport team cars to compete in the NSW Supersprint Championship and the NSW 6 Hour Regularity.
Even though you are only doing sections of the track you can still reach good speeds. To maximise your fun, keep to a comfortable speed which you can increase as you become more familiar with the track and how your cars handles it. It is a real thrill to brake into a corner at speed on the racing line and develop a feel for the track.
When starting 2 cars together in the Supersprint you quickly find out who is faster and give each other room. It’s quite a thrill to start like a drag race up and over the hump.
I found that I could do close to race speeds making braking, race lines and exit all very important to get a good result. Also found that I improved a fair bit in the Kink into the Chase, Griffin’s bend, the Cutting and the Grate – improving on all. You challenge the clock to improve your time each time that you go out. Lower times will be a good indication that you are improving.
The Esse’s Hillclimb is a different game and thrill. Going up the hill it is quite steep so you can push quite hard into the corners and even the Dipper. Get onto YouTube and check out Malcolm Michel’s videos on these events – he really gives his GTS a go.
If you think you are interested or just need more information on these events please contact me, Bill Vouden at email@example.com or 0428 407 989.