YOU may not have even heard of it, but the Adelaide Motorsport Festival is fast becoming one of Australia’s premier automotive events.
The two-day celebration of motorsport encompasses a variety of displays, showcasing the racers of yesteryear both on and off the track.
Click through the gallery above to see photos and learn more about what went down at this year’s Adelaide Motorsport festival
A heavy emphasis is placed on Formula 1 cars, which conveniently links back to when Adelaide hosted the Australian Grand Prix back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and even utilises some of the old Victoria Park circuit.
But there’s much more to the four-year-old festival than Formula 1 cars. The field of tent-garages is scattered with rows upon rows of variation, with Le Mans retirees mixed in with past Bathurst-competing cars beside one another and rally legends sitting idly beside the hypercar Holy Trinity, the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.
The track component is run in a super sprint fashion, with cars timed against the clock rather than competing against one another, yet there’s still anywhere up to 14 cars on track in each session.
As part of the event, the Adelaide Rally snakes its way through Adelaide’s notoriously good hill driving roads before ending back in the city. Everywhere you look there seems to be some sort of car-related action in a festival that is starting to sound like Australia’s answer to the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Arguably the coolest part of the weekend is the Peak Hour of Power, where motorsport legends like Craig Lowndes, Ivan Capelli, David Brabham and Jim Richards hop into motorsport icons like the Porsche 962, Brabham BT62 and Leyton House F1 car and rip through the city streets towards the Gouger St party. In a world so focused on rules and regulations, it’s incredibly refreshing to see a 1980s F1 car driving beside a Kia Sportage on Aussie roads.
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In addition to the motorsport sprint sessions, throughout the weekend the track hosted entertaining displays including drag races between the Holy Trinity, American muscle cars (Dodge Challenger Demon, Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang) and even Australia’s only Red Bull Air Race pilot, Matt Hall, raced David Brabham in the Brabham BT62.
More than 800 cars were took part in this year’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival and more than 43,000 people were in attendance.
Despite losing the Australian Grand Prix to the city of Melbourne more than 20 years ago, South Australians are a resilient bunch and have created a special event that harks back to the best eras of motorsport.