According to drivers present at the recent BATHURST REAL ESTATE 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship launch, the outright record on the Mount Panorama 1.7 km Mountain Straight course will fall when the event is conducted on November 2-4, and it should be with a 100 mph (160kph) average run.
Tim Edmondson is the only driver to have averaged 100 mph on a run on the course, having done so at a Bathurst Light Car Club (BLCC) event in 2011, with an amazing 37.69secs run in his imported British Gould GR55B that has Formula One technology and powered by a Nicholson McLaren V8, but as that time was recorded in a club event; it was not an outright record.
However the Sydney driver does hold the record, a 39.35seconds run set early in 2011 when he won the NSW Championship round.
Speaking at the launch, Edmondson said that given fine weather, the run that wins the hillclimb should break the record and average 100 mph while doing so.
This will be the first time the Mountain Straight venue will have been used for a national championship. It is possibly the fastest and at 1.7 km the longest hillclimb in Australia. Starting from the hump on Mountain Straight, it runs in race direction to the finish near the police compound just before the McPhillamy Park gate.
When he achieved the 37.69secs run, Edmondson said his car was doing 240kph as he reached Griffins Bend at the top of Mountain Straight, then it was down to around 90 – 100kph through the Cutting and back up to 250 kph before the finish.
Joining Edmondson at the launch were Mudgee farmer Doug Barry with his Lola T8750 F3000, along with renowned builder of hillclimb racer’s, Ron Hay with his latest weapon, the Synergy Dallara.
Barry’s Lola has a V6 Buick engine, and has won the Australian Championship on four occasions, three driven by West Australian Gary West, and one other from Allan Hamilton.
Barry is now a winner in his own right with the Lola, and currently leads the NSW Championship, with one of his round wins being at Mount Panorama on the Mountain Straight course.
The Hay entry is interesting, as the Dallara was raced in Japan before being imported to Australia, and purchased as a rolling chassis by Hay. The New Zealand based Synergy company were then entrusted the job of building a special hillclimb engine, 2.4 litre’s and weighing just 100kg.
Hay made his debut in the car in the first round of the NSW Championship at Canberra, and he is getting faster all season, currently sitting second to Barry in the state championship.
Another high profile entry for the event is expected to come from Gary West, the West Aussie having not raced since he won the 2008 national championship at Mount Panorama on the Esses course.
The car he is building especially for the event He will be driving the ex-Tom Donovan Pilbeam MP82, and like the Gould fully imported from Britain, while the power source for the very aerodynamic racer will come from a super charged 2.3 litre Nissan SR20.
“I have been waiting to see how my work situation pans out, and it looks an 85% chance that we’ll get there, and hopefully we can round up a bit of sponsorship to help us,” West said.
He will be driving the ex-Tom Donovan Pilbeam MP82, and like the Gould fully imported from Britain, while the power source for the very aerodynamic racer will come from a super charged 2.3 litre Nissan SR20.
“The engine is being assembled in the next two weeks, then the wings and that sort of thing after that. If it was anywhere other than Bathurst I wouldn’t even be considering it, so I hope we get there and put on a good show. I haven’t driven in competition since 2008, so I hope I’m not too rusty, West said.
The BATHURST REAL ESTATE 2012 Australian Hillclimb Championship is also supported by the Bathurst RSL Club, Rydges and Repco.