A LAP OF MOUNT PANORAMA WITH WPS RACING'S MAX WILSON Racing along the pit straight and to start your lap you take a deep breath and get ready for the lap ahead. It is important to calm yourself down for the first corner (Hell Corner) because...
A LAP OF MOUNT PANORAMA WITH WPS RACING'S MAX WILSON
Racing along the pit straight and to start your lap you take a deep breath and get ready for the lap ahead.
It is important to calm yourself down for the first corner (Hell Corner) because it is one of the easiest corners on the circuit but can certainly catch you out if it you don't get it right. This corner is a second gear corner and it is important to get a nice clean exit for the run up Mountain Straight which is one of the most important sections of the track when it comes to horsepower.
As you come over the rise, about three quarters the way up the straight, you hit the rev-limiter in fifth gear.
The braking zone is uphill, so it allows you to get on the brakes a touch later for the right hander. This corner is quite quick and is a fast third gear corner, its is very enjoyable if the car is working right -- if you can get a good run out of here you can make up quite a bit of time.
You then charge up to The Cutting which involves a lot of concrete, cliff face and a big blind corner.
The marshal at the top of The Cutting is your best friend on every lap because you can't see around the corner and simply don't know what to expect around the corner.
The exit of The Cutting is the start of a section of track which is basically one single stretch of lefts and rights where you need to use every bit of the track if you can, especially during qualifying.
McPhillamy is the next corner on the track, which has a large crest on it.
There is plenty of room on the outside of this corner if you carry a bit too much speed in, but you can't afford to carry too much speed as it will force you to miss the entry to Skyline.
At Skyline you really have to be committed and your car has to be right, this is one part of the circuit which needs to come naturally, if you are thinking too much here then you are going to be in all sorts of trouble.
A nice exit will get you across Skyline cleanly and into the start of the "downhill" section of the track. In this part of the track it is important to stay off the brakes as much as possible and ride the car through the section by controlling the car with the accelerator.
If you go in too deep you may get around the first bit but could end up crashing two or three corners later because you just can't keep up with the car.
You then get to the VB Dipper which is a part of the circuit that makes Mount Panorama so unique.
Before I raced at Bathurst for the first time in 2002 this part of the track was undoubtedly the most daunting, however when you are racing it is not as dramatic as it looks on TV.
You need to keep up a smooth rhythm and push as hard as you can from the Dipper through to Forrest Elbow.
Forrest Elbow can suck you in and over the years there has been so many guys carry too much speed into here and get caught out.
The most important thing about Forrest Elbow is to ensure you are slow into the corner so you can get a fast exit and are able to get on the power as quickly as possible down Conrod Straight.
You hit top gear and about 300km just as you start to drift the car to the left of the track for the chute into Caltex Chase.
This is the fastest part of any race track in the country and can be a bit scary.
Once you are into the Chase you are virtually pushing the brake pedal through the floor to try and slow the car up.
You creep off the brakes and hopefully the car is straight for the left hander.
If you lock the brakes here you will spear off through the corner and usually into the sand trap, which could end your race.
It is third gear for the right-hand exit, which can be very slippery on older tyres.
Then there is a short run down to Murray's Corner, where again the car drifts to the outside and across the start-finish line for another run down Pit Straight.
It is a very long lap around the 6.21km circuit and if you get any part of it wrong it is very hard to make up for lost time.
There are so many variables on each lap with traffic, tyres and luck all playing a part. I can tell you one thing -- a good lap here feels fantastic and is very rewarding.
Mount Panorama is no doubt one of the best circuits in the world.
-credit: wps racing