A FLYING lap around Mount Panorama with motorsport legend Mark Skaife sure got the Bathurst 1000 off to a great start for Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Mr Morrison was among a number of special guests who flocked to the iconic circuit for the Great Race on Sunday.
Just before the 161-lap race commenced he grabbed the opportunity to go for a flying lap in a Commodore with Mr Skaife before walking along the pre-race grid to meet some of the drivers.
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On his way to lunch at the Bathurst Regional Council suite, Mr Morrison told Faifax Media that the facilities at Mount Panorama were “fantastic”.
“The fans are enjoying them, that’s the main thing and we talk about the race that stops the nation, this is it,” he said.
Calare MP Andrew Gee was with Mr Morrison during his time at the track and made sure that the Prime Minister knew about the planned second racing circuit for the Mount.
The dedicated race track will be of international-standard and be able to cater to motorbike and car races.
The federal government has already contributed $10 million towards the $52.4m cost to construct the track and associated infrastructure.
When asked if more federal funding would now be contributed to the planned circuit, Mr Morrison said: “I’m sure Andrew [Gee] will hit me up for that later”.
Mr Gee said it was a coup to have had the Prime Minister visit the Bathurst 1000 and Mount Panorama.
“One of the reasons I was so keen to get the Prime Minister and the Minister for Sport [Bridget McKenzie] here is so they could experience it for themselves because until you’ve been here and actually seen it and felt the vibe you don’t really understand,” he said.
“The scale of it is absolutely extraordinary so what we’re trying to do is build this second world-class circuit and so we’ve just got to get the key decision makers in so they can see for themselves how important this is.”