WITH less than a month to go before the Bathurst 1000, V8 Supercar drivers checked out the latest upgrades to the Mount Panorama circuit.
Federal Member for Calare John Cobb said Bathurst Regional Council has worked tirelessly to ensure major components of the $6million upgrade are completed before the race.
"This has included resurfacing the entire 6.2 kilometre circuit since the last race, ensuring the track is in the best possible condition for the V8 Supercars," Mr Cobb said.
"Tourism booms in Bathurst during races at Mount Panorama, so we are keeping the local economy healthy by ensuring it remains a top class international venue.
"As well as providing a better racing surface, the upgrades will make the circuit safer for all involved.
"New fauna fencing will help keep our local wildlife safe, debris fencing will keep the drivers safe and new spectator fencing will give those who come to watch the race more space to safely view the track.
"There are now more than 6,700 campsites available in the vicinity of Mount Panorama, with an extra 343 campsites added this year providing space for even more tourists to come and enjoy the race."
Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Gary Rush said the council had worked hand in hand with V8 Supercars organisers to ensure the track was up to the standards of both the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport and the Federation International Automobile.
"We are committed to protecting and maintaining this asset so it continues to put Bathurst on the world stage during both the Bathurst 1000 and 12-Hour races," Cr Rush said.
"That is why the Australian Government is contributing almost $3 million and Bathurst Regional Council is contributing $3.1 million to maintaining this world class venue.
"It is also important to recognise that for most days of the year Mount Panorama is a public road that services the residents who live here. That is why we have also added internal access roads around the Light Car Club and near Forest Elbow as part of the upgrade."
Work will continue on the upgrade into 2015, with a new spectator bank to be built before the Bathurst 1000 in 2015.
These important changes have been made in consultation with V8 Supercars and in line with recommendations made by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) to ensure the Mount Panorama circuit remains a safe, viable, competitive and international standard sports and tourism facility.
Further details on the upgrades:
$2 million road resurfacing program for the entire track. This major upgrade is completed on average every twelve years.
2.9 km of fauna fencing at various points around the circuit and around the outside of the circuit including Reid and Sulman Park. This fencing is designed to reduce the number of wildlife within the circuit.
1.75km of debris fencing including along Pit Straight with opening gates for track access, extensions to existing spectator fencing along the top of the Mount alongside Reid and Sulman Park, down Conrod Straight and around the Chase. This will provide greater spectator safety in-line with international standards set by the Federation International Automobile (FIA).
1.3km of spectator fencing at various points around the circuit
Five Retention basins located at the end of Pit Paddock (along Conrod straight) designed to improve water drainage during high intensity rainfalls. This will reduce water reaching the track and improve the overall condition of the area.
Additional shed for the Police Compound located at Reid Park to assist police with their coordination during the race.
343 new campsites located adjacent to the old Driving Theatre. Adding to the 6,396 existing campsites around Mount Panorama.
Sealing of Pit Paddock area and installation of water taps to camping sites located on low side along Conrod Straight.
Installation of two new starter lights & one video screen on Pit Straight.
Additional internal access roads for residents and tourists including vehicle access near the Light Car Club and near Forest Elbow.
10,000 cubic metres of earth fill for a chase spectator bank located along Conrod straight, opposite Rydges (will not be completed till after this year's race).