Wednesday, May 6, 2020


You and I are just about to set off on another of my Great Drives, but first I must detour to enjoy a few laps of the Mount Panorama race circuit outside the city of Bathurst in a bella machina - Alfa Romeo 159. Perfetto!

I've been lucky enough to do this many times, and it never gets old.

From the start line, it's Murray's Corner, a sweeping left hander, then up Mountain Straight.

Crossing the top of the mountain, through McPhillarmy Park I dive over Skyline, and down the Esses to Forest Elbow, then down Conrod Straight, the tight Hell Corner left hander, and back to the Start-Finish Straight.

Fabulous. If you're lucky enough to have a few laps when the Highway Patrol are on their coffee break, it's great fun and something every enthusiast should try at least once.

It gives you instant respect for the talented race car drivers who pit their skills against the mountain.

It's one of the toughest circuits in the world - to learn, and to win on. I've never been a racer, but in 1985 I was proud to be part of a winning team.

(Photo: Ray Berghouse, Chevron Publishing)

Okay, now lets head off on that Great Drive.

John Crawford

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