THE maintenance and construction of grandstands at Mount Panorama is on schedule for the 50th anniversary of the Bathurst 1000.
Preparing for the annual race is a big task, but, given the celebrations planned for this year, and the extra spectators and campers expected to attend, there is more demand than ever on race organisers.
Mount Panorama circuit manager Mark Rayner said most people wouldn’t believe the work required for the four days between October 4 and 7.
“We knew this year was going to be big because it is the 50th anniversary and increased demand for camping grounds and ticket sales have proved that will be the case,” he said.
“The event doesn’t just fall into place and happen within a couple of weeks, then go away. We started planning this event from the time the chequered flag fell last year and well before.
“We’ve started early and the guys who are here building the grandstands, they will be here for about two-and-a-half months. There is about three or four weeks to pack everything away after the event has finished.”
A lot of effort has gone into improving the car parks and camping areas, many of which caused havoc last year.
“We have additional grandstands around the track this year. We have increased the size of the main grandstand on Pit Straight and we have another near the start-finish line that is new,” Mr Rayner said.
“The stand on Murray’s Corner is also bigger and there are new ones near the resort and The Chase. There is a Club 50 stand along with the usual one on Hell Corner.
“We are currently doing more with the car parks to improve access in and out of that area. We have been building an extensive area of granite roads and sealing of the main arteries.
“Also, in the Max Cameron Campground (at the bottom of the track, near the main car-park), we have formalised the roads between campsites so people can get access to their campsites in abnormal weather.”
Mr Rayner said one of the most important aspects of preparing for any race at Mount Panorama is to expect the unexpected.
Over the years he has seen a tree come down across the track and kangaroos on the circuit, and solutions have to be found on the run.
“What I have always found over the years is that it doesn’t matter how organised you are, there’s always something that will be thrown up at the last minute,” he said.