Race Memorials

Mike Burgmann MemorialOver the years Mount Panorama has claimed the lives of some of its visiting racers. Mount Panorama is the premier motor racing circuit in Australia. This track has seen heartbreak and ecstasy, but it is all overshadowed when we think of those race drivers and riders who fail to tame it.

Since the opening of the track in 1938, 18 brave competitors have lost their lives to the Mountain, though not in vain. Each death has made the track safer and rules and restrictions tighter to ensure such tragic accidents no longer occur. The most noticeable change to the track was in 1987 with the introduction of the Chase, a section of track inserted in Conrod Straight. This section created a sweeping right hand turn before a sharp left and right combination in order to slow down competitors. The Chase was built to comply with FIA standards as Conrod straight, at the time, exceeded the maximum length of an unbroken straight, and therefore created excessive speed. 

A number of deaths at the Mount were in its early days when motorcycle racers were still a prominent fixture on the Mount Panorama calendar. Given the nature of the track and its close barriers, motorcycles are no longer seen at Mount Panorama. If a rider were to drop his bike in a corner, the lack of run-off on a number of corners would see them in contact the wall at life threatening speeds.

Sixteen competitors have died during racing associated with Mount Panorama, including 1967 World Drivers' Champion Denny Hulme who died after suffering a fatal heart attack while at the wheel of his car. Two spectators were also killed in 1955 after being struck by a crashing car.

  • 17 April 1949 Jack Johnson, MG TC, Easter races
  • 6 April 1953 Billy Raymond Baldry Motorcycle race, Easter races
  • 5 April 1958 Barry Halliday, Motorcycle, Bathurst Tourist Trophy
  • 2 October 1960 Reg Smith, Porsche, Australian GT Championship
  • 7 April 1969 Bevan Gibson, Elfin 400 Repco, Mount Panorama Trophy
  • 30 March 1970 Tom Sulman, Lotus Eleven Climax, Sir Joseph Banks Trophy
  • 2 April 1972 Lan Hog, sidecar, Bathurst tt race
  • 17 April 1976 Ross Barelli, Suzuki RG500, Easter races
  • 15 April 1979 Ron Toombs, Yamaha TZ 350F, Easter races
  • Easter 1980 Rob Moorhouse, Easter motorcycle races
  • Easter 1980 Alec Dick, Easter motorcycle races
  • 5 October 1986 Mike Burgmann, Holden Commodore VK SS Group A, James Hardie 1000
  • 4 October 1992 Denny Hulme, BMW M3 Evolution, Tooheys 1000
  • April 1994 Jim Colligan, Sidecar, Australian Tourist Trophy
  • April 1994 Ian Thornton, Sidecar, Australian Tourist Trophy
  • 30 September 1994 Don Watson, Holden Commodore VP, Tooheys 1000
  • 8 October 2006 Mark Porter, Holden Commodore VZ, Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series