THE Mount Panorama racing circuit is known as one of the most unique tracks in the world, and now it and the cars that race there are gaining international interest in an unexpected way.
Bathurst's iconic race track has recently been the subject of a number of videos on the YouTube channel 'IWrocker', whose more than 400 videos have generated in excess of eight million views.
The channel is run by American Ian Whelton, who has turned making YouTube videos into a full-time job.
"The beginnings of my IWrocker channel was around early 2017 after I realised that I could post a lot of videos and try to get some views. It was always a passion of mine but was simply a hobby/side hustle," he said.
"It has now evolved into my full-time job as of this year. It used to be an off-roading/truck focused channel, but that always felt like a ceiling to me, I wanted to take a risk and broaden the channel to more potential, so I could do videos on whatever I wanted."
His views started to grow when his content shifted to automotive-based reaction videos, including videos about Australian motorsport and Mount Panorama.
It's something he has had an interest in for a long time, but only started to make videos on recently.
"It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly when, but as a child, I was naturally drawn to Australia and Australian culture. Outside of North America I've never traveled, but I would always tell people if I could go somewhere far away I would always pick Australia," he said.
"I suppose it was fate that I would grow an awesome and loyal audience mostly based in Australia."
His first Mount Panorama video was posted in mid 2021, but many more have followed.
Like a lot of rev-heads, he knows there's something special about the mountain.
"It has extreme elevation change, it's both terrifying and thrilling at the same time," he said. "It has got to be one of the most technically challenging racetracks in the world."
He admits to being "blown away" by the attention his Bathurst and Mount Panorama content gets, with some videos, such as 'NASCAR Fan Reacts to Why Watch The Bathurst 1000', attracting more than 120,000 views.
"It has far exceeded my expectations, and I am quite happy about it," he said.
"Mostly though, I am impressed by the community it has spawned with my viewers and I. We all share experiences and years of knowledge, and of course a love of cars and racing. I have learned so much more from my audience than any video could show me."
The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously put international travel off the cards, but the YouTuber says visiting Bathurst - and doing a lap of it's iconic Mount - are definitely on his bucket list.
"I think that region around the track looks scenic and I would like to explore the hotels and museums around the track, as well as learn more about Bathurst itself," he said.
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