Insight Motorsport News Previews

TRT PREVIEW: ADELAIDE 500

WORDS & IMAGES: Mark Walker

Trivia Time

3: Winners from outside of the top-ten on the grid- Mark Skaife – 2000 (38th), James Courtney – 2014 (15th) & Nick Percat – 2016 (15th).

7: Most safety car interventions- Sunday 2008.

7: Number of races with zero safety cars.

13: Most lead changes in a race- 1999, but the most in a 250km race was 12 in the third race from 2016.

20: Winners from pole.

40: The biggest entry in the history of the Adelaide 500, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

1,907: Temporary concrete barrier blocks.

31,500: Metres of temporary fencing.

291,400: record four-day attendance, 2008.

$9,000,000: The cost to set up the AGP in 1985, which after the balance sheet was balanced, turned out to only cost the South Australian government $1.5mil.

Wakefield Road is named after Daniel Bell Wakefield, the solicitor who assisted in proclaiming Adelaide as a thing. We trust this didn’t push something more valuable out of your memory.

The home straight of the Victoria Park (horse) Racecourse was the longest of any in Australia.

Outside of the motorsport season, the Victoria Park section of the track is utilised in multiple configurations for bicycle criterium training and racing.

AGP concerts over the years featured Kiss, INXS, Cher, Tina Turner, Paul Simon and Daryl Braithwaite.

Simon Hodge driving an F3 car holds the outright Supercars-spec track record, some 2.4sec quicker than a Supercar.

The History

1846

Horse racing commenced in Victoria Park.

1882

The heritage listed Victoria Park grandstand (that remains in place) was erected.

The early 1980s

Sydney (harbour side), Melbourne (Sandown) and Canberra (a new standalone racetrack) all think it would be great to bring Formula 1 to Australia.

1984

Following a chat with Bernie Ecclestone, Adelaide successfully steals the Australian Grand Prix from its spiritual home of Calder Park, Melbourne, Victoria, with the race set to run from 1985 to 1991.

Locals were concerned about the environmental damage the event would cause, especially to the local possum population. None have subsequently been harmed in the running of the event.

1985

Keke Rosberg won the inaugural AGP and celebrated by lighting up a dart. Ligiers placed 2-3.

1986

Nigel Mansell spectacularly blew a tyre late, losing the title to race winner Alain Prost by two points.

1989

Time certain finish in the AGP, 11 laps short due to rain.

1990

The 500th World Championship race was somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing tantrum between Prost and Ayrton Senna, who dumped Prost into the Suzuka outfield to win the title at the previous event.

1991

Rain caused the AGP to be the shortest F1 race of all time.

1992

Senna and Mansell shunt, Murray Walker almost blew a fufu valve.

1993

Melbourne took vengeance on losing the AGP from Calder by driving a tip truck filled with cash to Bernie Ecclestone’s house.

Senna wins the last race of his career, shares top podium step with his friend Prost.

1994

Michael Schumacher turned in, hard, on Damon Hill, allowing the German to win the world championship. Mansell squeezes himself into a Williams for one last time to claim his final F1 race win.

1995

Mika Hakkinen suffered his massive accident, from which he bounced back to claim two world championships in 1998 and ’99.

David Coulthard fences himself on the pit entry, gifting the race win to Damon Hill. The Adelaide AGP concludes.

1998

In September it was announced that the Adelaide 500 would effectively replace Mallala on the V8 Supercars calendar from March 1999.

1999

The inaugural Adelaide 500 was considered one race (all subsequent have seen the two legs being classified as separate races), with Craig Lowndes claiming the win, after starting at the rear of the grid on Sunday after comprehensively blasting Danny Osborne into the fence on Saturday.

2000

Brad Jones inverts himself at turn 8, which was reprofiled two years later.

The Race of a Thousand Years rounded out the most recent millennium.

2002

Tomas Mezera, Greg Crick, Dugal McDougal and Ross Halliday fail to progress from the pre-qualifying session held at Mallala.

2004

Marcos Ambrose kicks off a string of six straight wins for Ford, the best run for the marque in the event. Holden won 15 straight from 2013 up to last year.

2008

The final horse race was run in Victoria Park.

2013

The COTF debuts, Mark Winterbottom pits after one lap with gearbox dramas.

2015

Scott McLaughlin’s external combustion Volvo engine fails to make the opening race start.

2016

Nick Percat won on Sunday after a DNS on Saturday for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport. Think about that for a moment.

2019

Scott McLaughlin wins the first championship race in a Mustang since Allan Moffat in 1972. The Sunday race failed to run to distance after a delayed start due to tyre bundle dramas at turn one.

Insider Trading

Best Local Feed

Leave the track at Gate 1, wander up Halifax Street, left on to Hutt Street and head to the Arab Steed Hotel. Good food, tables out on the street and five minutes from the track.

Best Local Beer

It’s South Australia, so it is mandatory to drink Coopers at least once. Head to the Coopers Alehouse on the corner of Pulteney and Carrington St. Alternatively, head to the Belgian Beer Cafe on Ebenezer place, just off Rundle street.

Best Local Things to Do After Racing

The Fringe Festival, and in particular the Garden of Unearthly Delights, is an absolute must do, so much music and comedy a short stroll across the road from the racetrack.

Best Traffic Tip

Use Uber at the front gate – it’s simple. There’s also a Taxi rank near Gate 1 that always seems to have plenty of Cabs available if that’s your go.

Best Spectating

While you might catch an epic shunt at turn eight, the opening Senna Chicane is the place to be – watch the cars work harder than anywhere else on the calendar.

Best Photography from Punterville

Try the top of the grandstands – turn 8 or perhaps pit straight. Catch fencing is not your friend.