History will be created at Mount Panorama on 2-4 November 2012, when the Bathurst Light Car Club (BLCC) conducts the 68th edition of the Australian Hillclimb Championship (AHCC), the eighth occasion it has been run at Bathurst, and for the first time it will be held on the Mountain Straight side of the iconic circuit. The Mountain Straight climb starts from the top of the hump on Mountain Straight adjacent to the Winery, and climb’s the mountain in race direction to the finish located near the police compound just prior to McPhillamy Park. At 1.7 kms, the Mountain Straight course is the longest and fastest hillclimb course in the nation, and several drivers are expected to join the ‘100 mph club’ during the event. The two main protagonists are Sydney automotive engineer Tim Edmondson, and Mudgee grazier Doug Barry. The outright record is 39.35seconds, set by Edmondson early in 2011 when he won the NSW Championship round driving his imported British Gould GR55B, and then in the same event this year Barry at the wheel of his LolaT8750 F3000 came to within 0.01 seconds of that time. However, Edmondson has achieved a 100 mph average run, that coming when he won the annual BLCC speed weekend in December 2011 with an amazing 37.69secs run, but as that was recorded in a club event, it was not eligible to take the outright record, but it is still a club record. The BLCC are being swamped with enquiries about the event, prompting Clerk of Course David Robinson to say it is creating unprecedented interest. “One way or another I’ve been involved with several of the Australian Hillclimb Championships here in Bathurst, and I’ve never seen so much interest. The club has an amazing number of 620 names of interested competitors on its data base, and we’re pretty sure we’ll reach our maximum of 150,” Robinson said. “The event will be run over three days, with practice on Friday November 2, and then official runs the remaining two days. “You will see the serious ones here next month, when we (BLCC) conduct a club event on the mountain Straight climb on August 26th as a practice event for the big one. “We do have a launch for the hillclimb on the 27th of this month, and then we’ll be making an announcement on a very important naming rights sponsor” Robinson said. The AHCC is the second longest running motor sport championship in Australia, behind only the Australian Grand Prix, and this year it will be held on 2-4 November, with practice on Friday and official runs the following two days Saturday and Sunday. While this year’s championship will be the first on the Mountain Straight side of the circuit, the course in recent years has been run as part of the BLCC Club Championship, particularly at the season ending Speed Weekend late November or early December, and in recent years as a round of the NSW Championship. This year celebrates 74 years since the Mountain Straight course was first used as a hillclimb on the ‘Old Bald Hills’. In 1938 the circuits first ever hillclimb was conducted on the Mountain Straight side of the circuit by the Light Car Club of NSW, and saw the late and legendary George Reed of Bathurst win on what was dirt and driving his ’34 Ford Roadster. All AHCC’s run at Mount Panorama were conducted on the Esses course, starting in 1956, when run by the Australian Racing Drivers Club and won by the late and great Lex Davison in his Cooper Vincent. The remaining six were organised and promoted by the BLCC, with 1967 and Greg Cusack winning in the David McKay owned Repco Brabham, then again in 1976 when the event was run in partnership with the Manly Warringah Car Club and won by the late Peter Hollinger in his Hollinger Repco. It was next run locally in 2006 when Wollongong’s Peter Gumley won his first of ten championships driving his SCV, and then he won in Bathurst again in 2000. The remaining two AHCC’s on Mount Panorama were conducted in 2004 and ’08, and won on each occasion by West Australian driver Gary West in the Lola, Barry is currently campaigning.