Motorsport News

F1 (AND THE CLASSIC) CONFIRMED FOR THE BEND IN ’21

THE BEND Classic will become a new Father’s Day Motorsport tradition in South Australia.

A successful 2020 event, well attended by both competitors and fans, has seen The Bend Motorsport Park lock in the first Sunday of September as it’s permanent home moving forward. It means the 2021 event will be held on 4-5 September next year.

The 2020 Classic ended with a large and enthusiastic crowd basking in the South Australian sunshine as The Bend’s West Circuit lap record was smashed by Josh Kean in a Footwork-Arrows Formula 1 car.

However, it was the diverse array of machinery that captured people’s imaginations with something for everyone both on and off track across the weekend. The 2020 event saw total competitor numbers more than double from the inaugural event held last December, despite a lack of interstate competitors due to current border restrictions.

Highlights included high-performance laps of two ultra-rare ‘Hypercars’ – a McLaren P1 GTR and Porsche 911 GT1 – plus historic motorcycle demonstrations and static displays of iconic machinery.

The event will maintain a sprint format with individual category winners, but also culminating in the popular top-10 shootout for the fastest cars of the weekend, anticipated to be a major draw for high performance machinery in the future.  

Heritage and classic F1 machinery will be an ongoing feature at the event, which will continue to cater for a broad array of vintage, historic, classic and unique machinery.

“The response to the 2020 The Bend Classic, especially given the current conditions and circumstances, was nothing short of incredible,” said Dr Sam Shahin, The Bend Motorsport Park Managing Director.

“The way the competitors and spectators have embraced the event to create such a wonderful atmosphere around the entire venue was a vote of confidence in the event and The Bend Motorsport Park.

“We will lock in the Fathers Day weekend in 2021 to give every participant advance notice to compete, and allow new ones to begin planning.

“I have made no secret of my ambition to establish The Bend Classic as the Southern Hemisphere’s version of the Festival of Speed, and why not? We have the facility and the support to do it.

“I could not be happier with the prospect of making this a global event.”

While the broad array of machinery saw something for everyone, the enduring appeal of classic Formula 1 Machinery saw the largest gathering of Grand Prix machinery a focal point for fans this year.

“Adelaide loved and continues to love Formula One, and the sights and sounds of these cars brings people to the fences.

“There are reportedly 20 to 30 F1 cars in Australia. Closed borders mean that everything here this year was from South Australia, which is quite incredible. Next year I look forward to 20 Formula 1 cars, 200-plus entries and I look forward to making this the envy and the aspiration of every motorsport festival around the world.”

The Bend Motorsport Park will host two rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in coming weeks, with the Repco SuperSprint on 19-20 September and the OTR SuperSprint on 26-27 September.

Tickets are available via Ticketek and thebend.com.au