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Mount Panorama: Blue Hell

This Australian circuit is one of the most dangerous and beautiful in the world. The most important competitions in Aussie motorsport are held there.


Someone ever defined him as the Blue Hell making a parallelism with the old circuit of Nurburgring nicknamed as the Green Hell for being in the middle of the forest. Sure, in the Mount panorama In Australia, there are not so many trees, but being located on a hill its constant unevenness makes the sky - more than anything when it is clear - take on a certain prominence along its 6.213 meters.

Mount panoramaThis track was inaugurated on April 18, 1938 and was built on old roads that the inhabitants of Bathurst, in New South Wales, they used to test their bravery. And it has long been the scene of Australia's two most important motorsport races: the Bathurst 1000 of the Australian V8 and 12 Hours of Bathurst.

What makes it such a special track? All the difficulties it presents in the form of low, medium and high speed curves (in total there are 23), a sequence of very fast eses, a couple of long enough straights and several ups and downs. In short, pure vertigo.

Mount Panorama circuit“Racing here is crazy, these guys are crazy. The place is fantastic, TV really doesn't do it justice. Since I was a child I had the dream of racing on this circuit and fulfilling it on an F-1 is something fantastic ", counted the English Jenson Button after making an exhibition with a McLaren de F1 in 2011. His time was 1m48s88, a record that is unofficially the fastest achieved in this picturesque setting.

The official record has it Christopher Mies, who on an Audi R8 Ultra GT3 set a time of 16m2018s1 on November 59, 2910 within the framework of the Challenge Bathurst that year.

The lap at Mount Panorama begins on the pit straight, which leads to the fearsome Hell Bend -to the left and at a right angle- which owes its name to the large number of accidents that usually occur. Follow him Mountain Straight, a 1.100-meter straight that ends in a slight ascent and a quick curve to the right called Griffins bend in honor of the mayor who designed the layout.

Mount panoramaNext come the variants Reid park, Sulman park, the highest point of the track since it is located at 862 meters above sea level; Y McPhillamy Park, a fan favorite spot to gamble during competition weekend. All these curves are enclosed within walls and their names are inspired by the parks that surround the circuit.

Already at the top of the mountain you travel at full speed through Brock's Skyline, a sector that leads to The Esses, a series of fairly fast and narrow linked curves that are already made downhill. In a matter of seconds you have to brake to put the car in The Dipper, a curve considered to be the Australian version of the Laguna Seca Corkscrew and where any mistake is paid dearly.

Mount panoramaThe long and narrow straight of Conrod allows V8s, for example, to exceed 300 km / h. It is the most critical place on the route as evidenced by its history of incidents, which in several cases have ended in fatal consequences. This area ends in a small curve known as The Chase in which cars travel at 290 km / h. After a very small straight, you get to Murray Corner, the last curve of the circuit which is 90 degrees. You enter the main straight and everything starts again ...

When not in use, Mount Panorama is open to the public who can walk both ways. The only condition is do not do it at more than 60 km / h, a speed that is controlled by the local police through hidden radars in strategic places.

Also, in recent times, the track is part of the most prestigious simulation games such as the rear Gran Turismo y Force. However, the re-enactments do not honor the true track where everyone, drivers and spectators, only does one thing: hold their breath.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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