The pandemic is forcing Mount Panorama-based Shane “Robbo” Robinson to cut his guest list for Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 car race.
- Due to COVID-19, the residences on Mount Panorama have to adhere to a strict visitor limit of 20 people
- Some residents host private parties while others rent their properties to fans or racing crews
- During the races, residents can access their properties via an underpass under the track
“I said no to my sister – she’s going to miss it because it’s just too hard to choose from people who really love it,” said Robinson.
For two decades the crane operator has owned one of the 31 residential properties along the world-famous race track in central-western New South Wales.
Mr Robinson said he would typically see up to 1,000 people in his home during the annual four-day event.
However, according to the COVID-19 rules, he is only allowed to allow 20 guests at a time.
Supercars has announced a daily limit of 4,000 people for the ticket event, which typically attracts 50,000 visitors per day.
Sitting is restricted to the bottom of the mountain – known as Wahluu in the indigenous Wiradjuri language – and public camping is prohibited.
„Big Dream“ Residenz
This year, Mr. Robinson will host a racing team and a handful of close friends on his property.
“There will be a little break this year and I could see the whole race for myself.”
A dedicated motorsport fanatic from a young age, Robinson said life on the world-famous racetrack has some advantages.
“Going to a racetrack for an address and looking at your driver’s license that says Conrod Straight is a very selfish thing,” he said.
“I’ve been all over the world and when you say you’re from Mount Panorama Bathurst, everyone wants to call and say hello.
Passion for motorsport
Roommate Keith Tucker has been a passionate motorsport fan for four decades.
He said he once postponed a special trip with his wife to take part in the Great Race.
Three years ago he seized the opportunity to acquire real estate on the so-called “number one racetrack in Australia”.
“Living on the mountain is like living in the Vaucluse of Sydney,” he said.
“It’s an opulent place to live.”
Mr. Tucker is an automotive engineer by profession and restores classic cars and builds replica racing cars.
He recently installed a virtual racing simulator in his “man cave” to entertain guests.
But its four-acre property, which also includes a separate rental unit, lost tens of thousands of dollars in canceled bookings during the pandemic, Tucker said.
“It has a huge impact on our business,” he said.
Life on the racetrack
During the five events, which take place all year round on closed tracks, the local council closes barriers over entrances to the racetrack.
Residents who live within the racetrack can access their property via an underpass under the track.
Outside of the racing weeks, the 6.2-kilometer route is a public one-way street with a top speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
Mr Tucker said he had often seen amateur drivers test their vehicles and the law.
“You will get your ankles getting there and pushing the boundaries,” he said.
“Cops have a field day here almost every day of the week.”
The bicycle mechanic Mick Baumberger is another “100 percent motorsport fan” whose family owns a property on the mountain.
“You drive down the front driveway and are about 10 meters away from the cars that fly past you,” said Baumberger.
He said the roar of V8s and the crowd could get overwhelming, but residents knew the conditions under which they had been shopping.
Watch Brock: Over The Top on Tuesday, November 3rd at 8:30 p.m. on ABC TV + iview
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