IT has been a long and hard-fought battle, but the Mount Panorama Second Track Action Group can now celebrate the biggest milestone yet.
The group has wanted a second circuit built at Mount Panorama for nearly a decade and were delighted to see plans last week after a designer was appointed by Bathurst Regional Council.
Group member Lachlan Sullivan said it was a great step forward, particularly given the calibre of the designer, United Kingdom-based Apex Circuit Design.
“Obviously we are very pleased that council has picked an international designer that is renowned and got a couple of runs on the board,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said the idea for a second track at Mount Panorama initially came from Allan Cunynghame, who started it all with a call to “Bring the bikes back”.
He designed a track to be built near Rydges on Conrod Straight, but it wasn’t deemed viable after a feasibility study was done.
Mr Sullivan said the action group continued lobbying for a separate track on the mountain and he felt the idea got serious traction after member for Bathurst Paul Toole put his support behind it.
“He came on board with us in late 2010 and we’ve just been gnawing away at it,” he said.
“They say politicians don’t listen, but as you can see here, they do.”
He added that credit for the idea eventuating into reality also must go to the various levels of government that have contributed funding, former mayor Gary Rush and council itself.
When it comes to permanent race tracks, NSW has somewhat of a shortage, with only two, located at Eastern Creek and Goulburn.
Mr Sullivan said a third circuit in Bathurst that can be used everyday of the year will provide a great financial boost to both the region and the motor sport industry.
He said the action group is excited to see the international-standard circuit come to fruition and grow to a point where it can cater for different kinds of motor sport.
“Once we have the master plan, we can build to that,” he said.
“You don’t have to build it all overnight and you don’t have to fund it all overnight.”