Know mount Panorama

GQ (Australia) - - CARS -

Mount Panorama has been a loud and colourful part of Aus­tralia’s sport­ing ta­pes­try for decades, with its first stag­ing in 1963. But the track’s first event was the Aus­tralian Grand Prix, in the far braver days of 1938. Mod­ern F1 cars would never be al­lowed to race around such a steep and tech­ni­cally un­safe track, with its 6.2km length sur­rounded by trees, walls and, in­fa­mously, had the odd ad­ven­tur­ous kan­ga­roo cross it. Per­haps the most in­sane peo­ple ever to ride their luck on its steep slopes (there’s a 174m ver­ti­cal rise from the Pit Straight to Brock’s Sky­line at the top) were the mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ers who com­peted here in the Aus­tralian Mo­tor­cy­cle Grand Prix which then just be­came known as the Easter races, be­fore some un­for­tu­nate ri­ot­ing and mind­less vi­o­lence shut the whole thing down. While it has proved a the­atre of dreams for many larger-than-life char­ac­ters over the years, from Dick John­son to Jim Richards, the undis­puted King of the Moun­tain was Peter Brock. Brocky, or Peter Per­fect as the fans called him, won the Great Race an in­cred­i­ble nine times. In his day, he was un­beat­able around The Moun­tain, and in 1979 his win­ning mar­gin was an al­most un­fea­si­ble six laps. In the same year, Bathurst also changed the way ev­ery­one in the world watches mo­tor­sport. It was the place where Chan­nel 7 un­veiled the world’s first in-car cam­eras, Race­cam, putting view­ers in the driver’s seat in a feat of tech­no­log­i­cal bril­liance we now all take for granted.

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