For every day of the year but one, people like you and I drive the road along Bathurst’s Mount Panorama. But when the first Sunday in October arrives, the road is taken over by fierce competitors driving the hottest V8 Supercars anywhere. The Aussie rivalry between Ford and Holden plays out on one of the most famous race tracks in the world at Mount Panorama’s Bathurst 1000.
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Mount Panorama was first used for motorcycle racing in 1938. Except during World War II, they continued to race until 1954 when the Australian Racing Drivers Club began racing there.
What’s in a name?
The official name of the race has changed over the years depending on the race’s length and sponsor. However, most Australians still call it the Bathurst 1000 and we’ll continue the tradition.
The original Armstrong 500 was held at Phillip Island in Victoria for the first 3 years (1960-2) and then moved to its permanent location Mount Panorama Bathurst, New South Wales. During the 1960s the race was 500 miles (not kilometres) long. It wasn’t until 1973 that the race changed to the metric system and became the Hardie-Ferodo 1000.
500 miles doesn’t equal 1000km, but they also added 33 more laps to the race and so the name change fits.
|2005 – present||Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000|
|2002 – 2004||Bob Jane T-Marts 1000|
|2001||V8 Supercar 1000|
|1998 – 2000||FAI 1000 Classic|
|1997||Primus 1000 Classic|
|1996 – 1998||AMP 1000 Kilometres|
|1988 – 1995||Tooheys 1000|
|1981 – 1987||James Hardie 1000|
|1973 – 1980||Hardie Ferodo 1000|
|1968 – 1972||Hardie Ferodo 500|
|1966 – 1967||Gallaher 500|
|1963 – 1965||Armstrong 500|
Why is the Mt. Panorama circuit unusual?
Another unusual aspect of the circuit is that it’s a public road when racing isn’t going on. Although the speed limit is 60km for the public, anyone can drive around the same circuit when there’s no race.
The track climbs 174 m up the side of a mountain, over the top and back down (descent grade 1 in 6.1) to the bottom. At the speeds driven during the race, this makes a demanding test for both drivers and their cars.
- Race is 161 laps of the circuit (1000 kilometres)
- Track is 6.212 kilometres in length
- Steepest grade is 1 in 6.13
- Drop from the top to the bottom is 174 metres
- Bathurst 500 on 20 Nov 1960 took 8 hours 19 min 99 seconds for 167 laps
- Bathurst 1000 on 13 Oct 2003 took 6 hours 32 min 41 seconds for 161 laps