Keen to capitalise on its popularity within the motor racing community, Bathurst City Council has been considering a second, more ‘permanent’ circuit for some time.
The Council hopes to attract race meetings to the town outside of the current well-established events, while a second circuit would also serve as an attraction to car clubs and media outlets.
Motorcycle racing has been missing from Mount Panorama’s calendar for some time, with the modern concrete-lined circuit deemed unsafe for bikes.
The Council has already made its intentions clear that attracting motorcycles and more ‘open-wheeler’ racing to Bathurst is part of its wider plan for the second circuit.
State Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, said he is now determined to see that the second circuit becomes a reality.
“As the local member, I want it put on the record that I intend to drive this project to ensure it does not falter,” Mr Toole said, speaking with Fairfax.
“The $5 million in the budget is a great way to get the ball rolling. This means the second track is no longer a pipe dream; it’s going to happen. I look forward to working with council to do the planning and get started on the construction of this initiative.”
Depending on the scale of the proposed circuit at Mount Panorama, it may find itself ‘competing’ for business with new circuits currently earmarked for the Central Coast and Shoalhaven districts, along with Luddenham Raceway in Sydney, where construction has already commenced.
Bathurst 12-Hour News
Organisers of the 2015 Bathurst 12-Hour have announced the event will be broadcast in its entirety on free-to-air television in Australia, with the 7 Network promising ‘lights-to-flag’ coverage.
As a result, the start time for next year’s race has moved back to 05:55, to ensure the race finishes five minutes before 7’s primary evening news bulletin begins, 12 hours later.
Bathurst City Council appointed local firm the Western Research Institute to compile a report on the 2014 12-Hour to determine the event's economic benefit.
The report was released this week, finding the event contributes $6.37 million to the NSW Central West economy, of which $5.9 million was generated in Bathurst.
The 12-Hour created almost 30 full time equivalent jobs for Bathurst, and 61 for NSW.
MORE: Racing news, NSW news