New generation floods Mt. Panorama for V8 Supercar 1000

Families are flooding back to Mt Panorama as a whole new generation of fans is introduced to the V8 Supercar 1000. Family camp grounds at Australia's most famous race circuit are virtually at capacity and a whole new generation of young fans are...

Families are flooding back to Mt Panorama as a whole new generation of fans is introduced to the V8 Supercar 1000.

Family camp grounds at Australia's most famous race circuit are virtually at capacity and a whole new generation of young fans are being initiated to a new-look mountain top once regarded as a dangerous "no go" zone just a few years ago.

An entire new feel has been actively developed by event promoter, IMG, which has Geoff Jones as head of its motorsport division.

"When we took over this event in 1997 we had some serious issues regarding the top of the mountain and some of the activities that went on up there," said Jones.

"The top of the mountain was certainly not a place to be on Saturday night, but we have worked with all the serious long-time fans and adapted a new mind-set up there.

"We have increased security, stopped old cars being driven or towed on to the mountain, stopped the use of glass containers and designed and organised grids of camping sites.

"We also created the family camp ground at The Chase so groups had somewhere to set-up for the race while we set about re-organizing the top of the mountain.

"All these things have turned many of the trouble makers away and made staying on top of the mountain a lot more enjoyable experience and returned it to the true motorsport fans.

"I think we have managed to do all this while maintaining the character of the venue.

"We believe it has encouraged many fans to return to the mountain with their own kids who will now have the chance to experience this great event for themselves."

One group typical of the families returning to Mt Panorama involved a combination of fans from Frankston in Victoria.

Tim Wright and his 15 year-old son Tom joined Chris Tant and his sons Peter (15) and Andrew (13) for the trip to Mt Panorama. The group was also joined by Ryan Fetherby who is a friend of both families.

There is going to be little conflict in the boys' camp this weekend with everyone a Ford fan.

"I used to come up here in the late 70s and early 80s, but then I had a family and that was that," said Tant.

"I mentioned to the boys that we could come up here this year and they have been at me since February to buy the tickets.

"We have decided to make it a real boys weekend away and are looking forward to a Ford winning on Sunday."

<pre> FACTS & FIGURES

Title: V8 1000 for V8 Supercars What: A 1000km endurance race for V8 Supercars. Round 11 of the 2001 Shell Championship Series Where: Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW When: October 4-7, 2001 Event Promoter: IMG Website: www.v8supercar1000.com Tickets: Available through Ticketmaster7 on 136 122, Ticketmaster7.com or at the gate.

TELEVISION TIMES Network Ten will be providing a massive 15 hours of nation-wide live coverage from Mt Panorama. It will also be televised live to New Zealand and Europe with a delayed telecast to North America and Asia. A total potential viewing for 400 million homes. Saturday's Network Ten telecast will be from Noon-5pm Sunday's telecast will be from 7am-5pm

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Series Supercars