Organisers of the Vodafone-sponsored event that will see a Formula 1 car lap Bathurst’s spectacular Mount Panorama circuit have announced more details surrounding the much-anticipated event, although there is one announcement that is sure to disappoint motorsport fans…
V8 Supercars driver Craig Lowndes and 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button will both pilot a McLaren MP4-23 F1 racer at Bathurst on Tuesday March 22, covering several laps of the 6.2-kilometre circuit before switching to a Lowndes’ Holen Commodore V8 Supercars title contender.
For Button – who sampled a V8 Supercar in the lead-up to last year’s Australian Grand Prix – the opportunity to drive on the circuit that plays host to the Bathurst 1000 will fulfil a boyhood dream.
“When I was a youngster, the BBC would always broadcast the Bathurst race, and it was one of those things you’d just switch over and catch, and just be so hooked, because the circuit just looked so intense,” he is quoted as saying.
But even organisers have confirmed that the lap times posted by the McLaren MP4-23 won’t be published ‘for safety reasons’, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
It is expected that those piloting the McLaren F1 car will do so at about nine-tenths of its maximum performance due to the circuit’s unique challenges and elevation changes, although it is widely tipped to smash the lap record of the circuit, which stands at a time of 2:06.801, unless safety considerations calls for them to run at considerably slower speeds.
And for those uninitiated to the Mount Panorama circuit, let’s take you on an onboard lap as described by none other than Murray Walker: