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Old 5 Apr 2017, 14:55 (Ref:3723942)   #1
JohnD
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JohnD should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridJohnD should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Driving Mount Panorama

Being a Pom, I know nothing about Mount Panorama, except what I see now and again in videos. But, it looks an exciting circuit and I may be visiting Australia next year. I've a UK National 'A' licence and my other hobby is to 'collect' race circuits. I've raced at all the UK GP tracks, plus the 'Ring, Le Mans (parade laps only!), Monza, Zandvoort and Spa this year. If I can get to Oz, I'd like to add Mount Panorama! If only on a track day.

To race there would be wonderful, but the MSA makes it difficult for 'foreigners' to race in the UK, let alone Poms in Oz, so I thought of a track day and a hire car, but then I found that the Bathurst circuit is public roads! Does this mean that they are only closed for events, like Le Mans? So that at other times it can't be driven at anything like competitive speed?
This may explain the track days at Bathurst that I've seen, advertised for thousands of Australian dollars, when a UK track day will be less than UK£200, if that.
I've seen the list of Australian permanent circuits on Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._racing_tracks). If Bathurst isn't a goer, and you were only in Oz for a short time, which would you try to get a few laps at?
Advice, please?
John
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Old 5 Apr 2017, 17:31 (Ref:3723964)   #2
RedZedMikey
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Yes, Bathurst is an open road most of the year. The speed limit is 60kmh all the way, and the road being what it is gets more than its fair share of police patrols etc. Across the top, even 60 will open your eyes in a standard road car.

The track day at Bathurst is $1590 to enter in regularity, and $2590 for super sprint. Both are 2 day events, but still several times more than the usual track day cost at a regular circuit. Many treat it as a bucket list item.
http://www.challengebathurst.com/

The NSW Hillclimb Championship usually holds 1 round at Bathurst each year, and I assume would cost less. However, being a hillclimb, your track time would also be considerably less, and not the whole circuit. This year they ran "The Esses" and "Mountain Straight", and combined, would still be less than half a lap.

As for other circuits, I think Phillip Island is probably the best of the mainstream circuits. A lot of car clubs run track days here, as well as National and State level races, not to mention Moto GP and Superbikes. Costs to enter a track day at PI will be much lower than Bathurst, depending on which event you attend with. For example, an MSCA track day will cost $225 this year, but you must also be a member of one of the clubs that form MSCA ($85 in my case), and you need a CAMS L2S licence (about $110). I could not tell you whether a licence from a UK body has reciprocal rights or not.
http://www.msca.net.au/index.php?opt...d=1&Itemid=102

What I'm not sure about is whether you are looking to run a "regular" hire car (!), or run with an organisation that arranges track days with their own fleet - obviously more expensive ...

Last edited by RedZedMikey; 5 Apr 2017 at 17:43.
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Old 5 Apr 2017, 18:38 (Ref:3723976)   #3
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Thanks, Mikey!
I shall be racing for real at Spa-Francorchamps for £360, plus my travel costs, so even as a life-one-off, three times more, even for a Bathurst trackday is bit much!

I hope to be in Queensland for the Commonwealth Games, so if I exclude Mount Panorama, what about either:
Lakeside Park, Brisbane
Morgan Park, Warwick
Queensland Raceway, Ipswich
The first has held Australian Grand Prix, I see, '66 and '69, which would add to its value in my 'collection'.

In the UK, track days are usually held for people to use in their own cars; no roll cage, fire extinguisher or overalls regulations, just a helmet, and only an ordinary road driving licence. Is it different in Australia? So a hire car - as so many do on the 'Ring - might do?

I'll ask CAMS about reciprocity, but the UK's MSA, on behalf I think of the FIA, insists on special registration (for a fee) of any event that will accept non-UK drivers, and so there are few.

Thanks for your help, Mikey, and for anyone else, in advance!
John
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Old 5 Apr 2017, 19:13 (Ref:3723980)   #4
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Sorry - Spa £600, so only half the price of Bathurst track day!
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 03:15 (Ref:3724044)   #5
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Lakeside Park, Brisbane
Morgan Park, Warwick
Queensland Raceway, Ipswich
None of those are really even interesting compared to Philip Island, let alone Bathurst.

A track day at Philip Island is something I've done a few times and it is absolutely incredible. The various clubs that run days down there are brilliant, and the area is lovely, the track flowing, fast and amazingly challenging.

Have driven Bathurst in a road car a number of times, and lots of time in simulators.

Would rather drive Bathurst in a sim than Ipswich in a real car!
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 04:42 (Ref:3724060)   #6
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Lakeside would be the most interesting out of those three, I'd think. The layout may not be that exciting but it has the most elevation change of the three and is a fast, fairly short circuit (1.5 miles) with little room for error.

Keep in mind that Warwick is a fair way inland and is about 150 km from Brisbane, and 200 from the Gold Coast. And if you're staying on the Gold Coast then it will be about a 100 km trip to Queensland Raceway and Lakeside.
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 04:47 (Ref:3724062)   #7
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Originally Posted by JohnD View Post
I hope to be in Queensland for the Commonwealth Games, so if I exclude Mount Panorama, what about either:
Lakeside Park, Brisbane
Morgan Park, Warwick
Queensland Raceway, Ipswich
The first has held Australian Grand Prix, I see, '66 and '69, which would add to its value in my 'collection'.
I only have decent personal experience at Morgan Park, so am not really qualified to offer an opinion. However ...

Queensland Raceway, aka "The Paperclip": Flat, boring, no sweepers, however it is the only permanent circuit in Qld used by the main game VASC cars. Been there in person, but got hardly any track time due to engine failure.

Morgan Park Raceway: Has undulation, a bit more interesting - but will depend upon which of the circuit variations you get to run. If lucky, you will run on one of the extended circuits up to 2.9km. Their website "about" page is old, old, old, and doesn't even mention the extensions - check their circuit map page. At least here I finished the day!

Lakeside Park: I believe this circuit was "rescued" from the doldrums a few years ago. Have never been there or seen it on TV, so it's a ??? for me. Yes, AGP were run there, but not Formula One - although some of the big name F1 drivers were in the events in F1 cars.

Haven't made the 3600km round trip to Qld since 2009, after all Phillip Island is only 100km away for me .
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 07:09 (Ref:3724086)   #8
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JohnD, I would suggest getting on to Youtube and having a look at some onboard laps of these circuits if you haven't already, that should give you more of an idea of how good they are to drive.
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 07:29 (Ref:3724089)   #9
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There are currently only 4 opportunities to drive Bathurst each year, at speed around the full circuit. These are the 12hr, Easter 6hr, 1000 and the Challenge Bathurst sprint/regularity events.
All are accessible if you bring budget, with the V8s being the most expensive, then 12hr, 6hr and the Challenge.

If you can't manage a race weekend, then the circuit is open as a public (two way) road every other day of the year, so you can do slow laps. Its nothing like the Nordschleife in that regard.

As a 'consolation' of sorts, Phillip Island is a fantastic circuit to drive around at speed, easily the best 'other' in the country. It is worth the effort in my opinion to do the Island. The Queensland options that you have listed aren't really great, but that's all there is.

Most, if not all, circuits in Australia have track days that you will be able to find yourself a place in. Finding a car might be the challenging part for some of those, but if you have a resume and aren't afraid of contacting people, then some sort of hire arrangement can probably be found.

HTH.
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 07:39 (Ref:3724092)   #10
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My thanks to you all - you have given me much to think about! All useful!
John
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Old 6 Apr 2017, 08:11 (Ref:3724098)   #11
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If you can't manage a race weekend, then the circuit is open as a public (two way) road every other day of the year, so you can do slow laps. Its nothing like the Nordschleife in that regard.
To clarify, the speed limit is 60km/h and it is rabidly enforced at The Mountain.

Still trust me when I say coming down the hill at 60km/h is bloody awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bludvl_x19 View Post
As a 'consolation' of sorts, Phillip Island is a fantastic circuit to drive around at speed, easily the best 'other' in the country. It is worth the effort in my opinion to do the Island. The Queensland options that you have listed aren't really great, but that's all there is.
The sites like RedBalloon and such might have track days to arrive and drive, by the likes of Fasttrack Racing and so on. Having had a quick look, there are some options for V8 cars, Formula Fords and Radicals at QR and Sandown, but nothing at Philip Island, and you are not going to get change from $500-$800 for around 10 laps I would suggest.
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Old 29 Apr 2017, 22:37 (Ref:3729961)   #12
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PI is GO

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but nothing at Philip Island,
https://www.phillipislandcircuit.com.au/drive-ride-days

http://www.driveevents.com.au/
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Old 30 Apr 2017, 08:57 (Ref:3730026)   #13
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You can get a Pajero sideways through the dipper at 60.

Just don't ask me how I know.......
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