First out of the gate are the participants in the Adelaide Rally, a four-day event taking in 32 closed road stages through the nearby Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula and Murray Mallee regions. The classic and modern competition categories are joined by tour groups making up a field expected to be close to 300 entries.
The Festival makes its presence felt in the city on November 30 with the Peak Hour of Power, a parade with pep through the CBD’s Friday night rush hour traffic. Making their way from Festival’s Victoria Park venue to a free street party in the Gouger Street restaurant precinct, the Peak Hour of Power’s participants include the new Brabham BT62 supercar, driven by David Brabham, and the T51 Cooper driven by his father Sir Jack Brabham to his first world championship. The 1993 555 Impreza driven by Vatanen, Alen, Sainz and NZ legend Possum Bourne will be driven by Alister McRae, joined by two Porsche 962 Le Mans cars, a Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo, and F1 cars including the Capelli Leyton House, a brace of Lola Larrousses and a 1989 Scuderia Italia Dallara. Motorcycle fans will be thrilled by the legendary Norton Rotary that became an unexpected winner in the late 1980s as it howls through the city as well as appearing on track across the weekend.
At the Gouger Street Party, the parade cars join the entire field of the Adelaide Rally as thousands of people fill the street to enjoy free entertainment, meet the drivers and check out the incredible array of cars up close.
Then, on Saturday morning, the Victoria Park Sprint circuit roars to life. The circuit, a shortened version of the original Adelaide Formula One track, has a packed schedule across the weekend, with super sprint competition among categories such as Formula One, Heritage Touring Cars, EVO/WRX, Modified Production Cars, V8 Sedans, Time Attack, Historic and Classic Open Wheelers, NISMO, Sports Cars and more. There are also demonstration laps including Classic Bikes, a drift battle featuring the ‘Driftsquid’ Jake Jones, and a selection of vehicles honouring the heritage of the Brabham marque, including the brand new BT62, which will be driven at speed in public for the first time anywhere in the world.
This year’s festival celebrates 70 Years of Porsche, with a large field of Stuttgart’s finest headlined by two magnificent Le Mans 962s that will be driven at speed on track.
The Adelaide Motorsport Festival has always welcomed Formula One cars, especially those from the Adelaide era of the sport, and this year is no exception. Joining a 1989 Scuderia Italia Dallara, 1988 Lola Larousse and 1994 Footwork Arrows will be the Leyton House March raced in Adelaide by Ivan Capelli in 1989. Capelli set the AMF lap record in 2016 and is keen to take it back after Supercars driver Tim Slade snatched it last year, so this category will be hotly contested.
In recent years AMF has been notable for its individual approach, such as pairing drivers with unfamiliar machinery, and pitting vastly different vehicles against each other on track. Supercars drivers in F1 cars and a roll race between a Footwork Arrows F1 car and a 1000hp time attack GTR were some of last year’s highlights. This year there are more unique on-track encounters planned.
Australia’s only Red Bull Air Race pilot, Matt Hall, will drop in, landing his single-seater MXS-R race plane on the track. The 700kg plane has an 8.9 litre flat six that tops out at 420kmh, can climb at 3,700 feet per minute and roll at the dizzying rate of 420 degrees per second, and only requires a bit over 100 metres to take off. Before he takes off though, he will have to race against three other winged machines in a series of quarter-mile drags unlike any you have seen before.
The Holy Trinity – Lap of the Gods session will bring together three hybrid hypercars – the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 and LaFerrari, on track at speed. Three lucky passengers will enjoy the ride of their lives alongside racing legends John Bowe, Jim Richards and Craig Lowndes. You can win a ride with Craig Lowndes in the mind-blowing LaFerrari by buying a raffle ticket available at the AMF website – www.adelaidemotorsportfestival.com.au – with proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, AMF’s charitable partner for 2018.
No type of car is more synonymous with the USA than the muscle car, so AMF has lined up three of the best to duke it out on our Victoria Park circuit in a race dubbed Civil War – American Muscle Showdown. We’ve come a long way since the first muscle cars were created by removing doors and adding power to conventional family sedans – the three contenders are supercharged and seriously quick. Supercars drive Todd Hazelwood will drive a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, facing off against John Bowe in a modified Ford Mustang and Shane van Gisbergen in a Camaro ZL1 in a three-way roll race. It’s a best-of-three contest in pure muscle car tradition – full throttle straight down the line.
And if the tyre smoke from the muscle cars isn’t enough, how about the first drift battle on the streets of Adelaide? Driftsquid, aka Jake Jones, is bringing his Nissan GTR-powered BMW M3 and he’ll be joined by Daniel Prior and Dean Newcomb in 2JZ-engined Nissan Silvias, and Darren Gunn in his XR6 ute. They’ll form two teams of two and show the speed, style and skill required to be a drift star.
It’s a non-stop feast of sights, sounds and evocative scents of motorsport on and off the track. Manufacturers such as Audi, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo display their latest models and the Trackfest display brings together a collection of highly modified street cars.
In all, more than 800 cars take part, forming a smorgasbord of all things motorsport, and it all happens in a family friendly atmosphere that’s accessible, open and fun. Fans of all ages have the chance to get up close to the cars, talk to the owners and drivers, and experience motorsport in a unique way. There are plenty of catering options, from VIP corporate hospitality to local food and drink stands, with roving entertainers and kids’ activities.
The Adelaide Motorsport Festival takes place on December 1 and 2 in Victoria Park in the Adelaide CBD. The Peak Hour of Power and free Gouger Street Party are on Friday November 30 from 5:45 pm. Go to www.adelaidemotorsportfestival.com.au for all the details and to book your tickets now.
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