The Mount Panorama 500 (known for sponsorship reasons as the Repco Mount Panorama 500) was a Supercars Championship motor racing event held in 2021 at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The event is not intended to return beyond 2021, however will remain an option to replace other cancelled rounds.[1] A championship sprint event at the circuit was previously held six times between 1966 and 1996.[2]

History

The Mount Panorama Circuit is best known as host of the Bathurst 1000 endurance race for touring cars, an event which was first run in Bathurst as the Armstrong 500 in 1963. In addition to the endurance race, generally held in October, the circuit had traditions of hosting a major event over the Easter weekend, dating back to the circuit's first major event, the 1938 Australian Grand Prix.[3] The first four ATCC sprint rounds at the circuit were held as part of the annual Easter event, with the races held on Easter Monday.

The Australian Touring Car Championship, first run in 1960, was held as a single-race event until 1968, with Mount Panorama hosting the championship in 1966. At the event Ian Geoghegan won the second of his five championship titles, and he also went on to win two further sprint rounds at the circuit, including in 1969 when the championship expanded to a multi-round series.[4] The Easter 1972 round, Geoghegan's third win at the event, has been considered as one of the greatest races in championship history due to the close battle between Geoghegan's Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III and Allan Moffat's Ford Boss 302 Mustang.[2][3][5] The battle between the distinctive Ford models, in which the lead changed hands multiple times, culminated in Moffat needing to loosen his seatbelts to see out the side window with his windscreen covered in oil. From 1974 onwards, the Easter event only featured motorcycles and continued until 1988.[3]

After a championship absence of over two decades, a sprint event returned to Mount Panorama in 1995 and 1996. The event was not on the Easter weekend, however it was still the second major annual event (the maximum permitted at the circuit under the New South Wales legislation of the period) following the demise of the Bathurst 12 Hour after 1994. Both of the 1990s rounds were won by John Bowe, winning the 1995 round without winning either of the two races and then winning all three races in 1996, both of which in the 1994 Bathurst 1000-winning chassis.[6] In 1995, Bowe's team-mate Dick Johnson, who was the first to match Geoghegan as a five time series champion, won his final championship race before suffering a rear wing failure at approximately 280 kilometres per hour while talking to the Seven Network commentators on RaceCam in the second race.[7]

The sprint round did not remain on the calendar in 1997, with two Bathurst 1000s being held instead after a promotional split, while from 1999 the unified Bathurst 1000 itself became a championship round.[4] In 2020, the return of the sprint round was announced to be held in February 2021 as the final round of the extended 2020 season, in a shuffled calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8] One month later, the event was removed in a further revision of the calendar, which was truncated to again finish within the 2020 calendar year.[9] Subsequently, an event in February 2021, known as the Mount Panorama 500, was again announced, this time as the first round of the 2021 Supercars Championship. The event featured two single-driver 250 kilometre races,[10] both of which were won by Shane van Gisbergen.[11] With the Bathurst 12 Hour, which usually takes place in February but was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-19, due to return in 2022, no further sprint events at Mount Panorama are intended beyond 2021.[1]

Winners

Shane van Gisbergen won the 2021 event.
Year Driver[4] Team Car Report
1966 Australia Ian Geoghegan Total Team Ford Mustang Report
1967

1968
not held
1969 Australia Ian Geoghegan Mustang Team Ford Mustang Report
1970 Australia Norm Beechey Norm Beechey Shell Racing Team Holden HT Monaro GTS350 Report
1971 not held
1972 Australia Ian Geoghegan Geoghegan's Sporty Cars Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III
1973

1994
not held
1995 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford EF Falcon Report
1996 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford EF Falcon
1997

2020
not held
2021 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore ZB

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
3 Australia Ian Geoghegan 1966, 1969, 1972
2 Australia John Bowe 1995, 1996

By team

Wins Team
3 Geoghegan's Sporty Cars[a]
2 Dick Johnson Racing

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
5 Ford
2 Holden

Event sponsors

  • 1966, 1969–70, 1995–96: Bathurst
  • 1972: Better Brakes 100
  • 2021: Repco Mount Panorama 500

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Previously entered under the names Total Team and Mustang Team.

References

  1. ^ a b Chapman, Simon (27 February 2021). "No plans for Mount Panorama 500 to return". Speedcafe. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b Pavey, James (22 February 2021). "Mountain memories: Bathurst's sprint round history". Supercars. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Dale, Will (22 April 2019). "Easter Flashback: Was this the ATCC's greatest race?". Supercars. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  5. ^ Fogarty, Mark (15 April 2016). "The best of the V8 Supercars 500". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  6. ^ Frood, Andrew (14 February 2018). "RIP RACERS THE DJR 94 BATHURST WINNER". V8 Sleuth. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Saturday Sleuthing: The Shell Sandown 500 Winner". Supercars. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  8. ^ Chapman, Simon (17 May 2020). "Supercars releases revised 13-round 2020/21 calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Sandown Takes Traditional Spot on Newly Revised Supercars Calendar". Auto Action. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  10. ^ Chapman, Simon (2 December 2020). "Supercars reveals long awaited 2021 calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  11. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (28 February 2021). "Bathurst Supercars: Van Gisbergen completes victory clean sweep at Mount Panorama 500". Autosport. Retrieved 8 March 2021.