SINCE Eric Bana raced in the 2014 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hour plenty has been done to increase spectator safety at Mount Panorama, but the motor sport enthusiast has now sparked debate over driver safety.
In the wake of the horror crash which led to the 2018 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hour being red flagged and declared early, Bana called for safety across the top of the circuit to be looked at.
Bana, who placed 13th outright in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP520, was amongst those cringing after seeing Ash Walsh’s Audi R8 clip the wall and left stranded at the top of the Mount then moments later, be hit by John Martin’s Mercedes-AMG GT3.
There was some 12 seconds between the time when Walsh crashed and Martin collided with him under green flag conditions.
Walsh and Martin were both hospitalised and have since been released, with the former requiring surgery to repair a deep laceration on his elbow. Bryce Fullwood was also involved in the crash.
Bana took to Twitter to voice his concern.
“So we need to talk about that crash ... and safety across the top of the mountain,” he tweeted.
“Unique section of unsighted, fast, blind track needs a unique solution. Gantries, dash lights, strobes on fences, something. Get it done.”
Bana’s view earned plenty of support not just from the general public, but drivers who took part in the endurance clash, including Walsh.
“Totally agree mate, not sure what the answer is but something needs to be done,” he said.
Walsh was given some consolation with his team declared AM Class victors.
Two-times Bathurst 1000 winner Will Davison, who was part of the Audi Sport Team WRT outfit which placed 14th outright, was another who joined Bana in calling for change.
“[It] was not good enough. I can’t believe we haven’t learnt after previous situations there,” he tweeted in response to Bana. “Such a scary situation for both parties, something we all fear. Needs to be improved immediately. Unmissable and instant lighting on both sides.”
One suggestion made was for each driver to have an in-car system installed, but another man with a host of Mount Panorama experience – Warren Luff – feels that is not the solution.
“Too hard and expensive to fit to every car in every category I think. It needs to be a system that helps every competitor,” Luff, who was part of the Objective Racing McLaren 650s line-up in the 12 Hour, said.
”[We] need amber lights on top of the wall 20 metres apart right across the top of mountain. Any flag marshal point can trigger them to light the place up like a xmas tree.”