LONG-TIME go-kart racer Max Laybutt would like to see Mount Panorama’s reputation as a mecca for motor sport extended to include another premier racing facility.
Mr Laybutt, a former Condobolin resident, has raced karts all over the world and knows that stories of Mount Panorama go well beyond Australian shores.
“I’ve raced karts just about all over Australia, I went to American three years ago, and I’ve had a relationship with the UK,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter where you go to or who you talk to, if they’ve got any form of motor racing in their blood, they know Mount Panorama.
“To give them the opportunity to come out here to Australia and actually step foot on Mount Panorama would be a great achievement for a lot of them.”
He said Australia lacked a high-quality circuit built to international standards, meaning anyone who wanted to advance their careers often had to travel elsewhere for the opportunity.
“Top level racing in Australia has diminished and it has diminished since we lost another favourite circuit of all karters, and that’s Oran Park,” he said
“Oran Park now, if you drive past it, it really brings a tear to your eye; it’s just full of houses and a nightmare to drive past.
“To lose the circuit there was undoubtedly damaging to motor racing and robbed our juniors of a place to learn to drive, learn to respect and all the good things that karting will provide.”
A go-kart track at Mount Panorama, with an extended length, would provide a “return to top level racing” in Australia and attract larger events.
“It was 1996 when Oceania was last held in Australia. Why? No circuit,” he said.
“There’s not a circuit to accommodate it. You have an opportunity by approving this DA and extending the circuit to international standard.
“It would be an advantageous place, because we could bring in the world like you do with other events.”