The Adelaide 500 (previously known by its long-term sponsored name as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide or colloquially as Clipsal) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held on the streets of the east end of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. First held in 1999, the event uses a shortened form of the Adelaide Street Circuit, the former Australian Grand Prix track.
|Venue||Adelaide Street Circuit|
|Number of times held||20|
|Last Event (2018)|
|Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
Currently held over four days in early March, the "500" itself currently consists of two 250 km races. In addition to this, Supercars contest one hundred minutes of practice over three sessions, two twenty minute qualifying sessions and two top-ten shootouts to determine the grid for the two races. Between 2014 and 2016 the event consisted of two 125 km races on the Saturday and one 250 km race on Sunday. In 2017 the organisers switched back to the original format due to the low popularity of the 125 km races from both fans and drivers.
Although the results of all races count towards the Supercars Championship, the winner of the final race is normally declared the winner of the "Clipsal 500 Adelaide", regardless of the results of the first race. The rest of the four days are filled with practice, qualifying, and support races for a number of other racing categories, which over the history of the event has included the Super2 Series, Super5000, SuperUtes, Touring Car Masters, Australian GT and Australian Carrera Cup amongst others. The event also regularly features evening concerts, with artists including Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Keith Urban and Robbie Williams having performed.
The Adelaide Street Circuit was used for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix from 1985 to 1995. Supercars, then known as the Group 3A Touring Cars, had competed in support races at each of these Grands Prix although these races did not count towards the annual Australian Touring Car Championship. The state of South Australia had also previously hosted championship rounds of the ATCC at Mallala Motor Sport Park in 1963 and between 1969 and 1998 and at Adelaide International Raceway from 1972 to 1988.
On 1 September 1998, the Government of South Australia announced the conclusion of successful negotiations with the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) for the staging of a Supercars race to be known as the Sensational Adelaide 500 on a shortened version of the Grand Prix track. The race effectively replaced the Mallala round on the calendar. The initial contract was for a period of five years with an option for a further five years. After the conclusion of the 1999 race, Clipsal were announced as the event's major sponsor and it became known as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, a deal which continued until 2017. The event currently has an agreement to appear on the calendar until 2021.
The 1999 event saw Craig Lowndes win the Saturday race, only to be disqualified due to his involvement in an accident with Danny Osborne, and made to start from the back of the grid for race two on the Sunday. Lowndes passed every car in the field to also win race two and thus become the first winner of the Adelaide 500, in what remains his only event victory. Lowndes' disqualification from race one was later overturned. The 1999 race was also controversial as the original regulations stated the race was one 500 kilometre race with an overnight break at the 250 km mark. When a significant portion of high-profile cars retired in the first leg, the regulations were changed overnight to allow those cars to start the Sunday race. The inaugural event also proved a challenge to the fitness of the drivers, with both Paul Radisich and John Faulkner requiring medical assistance due to dehydration.
The 2000 event once again saw a last-to-first drive, with Mark Skaife winning the Sunday race after starting 38th due to a DNF on Saturday. Despite this, the event win was awarded to Garth Tander, the only occasion in which the Sunday winner was not awarded the event win. In 2001 Clipsal 500, Craig Lowndes won his first race for Ford since his defection from the Holden Racing Team to a Gibson Motorsport Ford. After winning the Saturday race, he was again in contention on Sunday until an incident with his former team-mate Skaife ended his charge. In 2002, the track layout received its only modification to date, with Turn 8 being re-profiled to what became known as 'The Sweeper'. The change followed Brad Jones's roll-over at the previous version of the corner in 2000 among other incidents. The re-profiled corner became one of the most infamous corners in Australian motorsport with several high profile victims in the first year including Radisich and Glenn Seton.
Holden had dominated the event from 1999 to 2003, with three wins to Skaife and one each to Bright and Tander following Lowndes' inaugural event victory. It wasn't until 2004 that a Ford driver won the event, with Marcos Ambrose winning both races, repeating the feat in 2005. Ford's turn of fate was signified by a sweep of the top four in the Saturday race of the 2005 event. Jamie Whincup then made it three in a row for Ford in 2006 with his first event win in Supercars in his first appearance for Triple Eight Race Engineering. The 2007 event brought about the first instance of the driver who scored the most weekend points not winning the event. Brothers Todd Kelly and Rick Kelly won one race each across the weekend however Rick was credited with the event win for his Sunday race victory despite scoring less points in the other race. Whincup went on to win again in 2008, 2009 and 2011 to be the most successful driver in the event's history to date. The 2008 event was, however, marred by the death of Ashley Cooper following a crash in the second-tier Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series race.
From 2002 to 2009, the Adelaide 500 was the opening round of the championship. It lost this position in 2010 and 2011, with the Yas V8 400 in the United Arab Emirates opening the series. From 2012, Adelaide returned to being the opening round. The 2012 Clipsal 500 provided one of the event's most memorable finishes when Whincup chased down and overtook Will Davison on the final lap of the Saturday race. Whincup had made an additional pitstop and gained enough ground to take advantage when Davison's car began to run out of fuel. Davison went on to win the event with a win on Sunday, his first since joining Ford Performance Racing. The 2013 event was the first of the Car of the Future regulations, which saw Nissan and Mercedes-Benz join the series as the first manufacturers outside Ford and Holden since 1993. The Sunday race was won by Shane van Gisbergen in the aftermath of his controversial decision to announce his retirement during the 2012 season before switching teams to Tekno Autosports over the off-season.
In 2014, Volvo rejoined the series and made an immediate impact with Scott McLaughlin fighting off Whincup on the final lap to finish second in the newly-introduced second 125 km race on Saturday. On the Sunday, Jason Bright rolled his Brad Jones Racing car at the Senna Chicane, thirteen years after team boss Brad Jones rolled his car at Turn 8. James Courtney won the event and in 2015 became the fourth driver to win the Clipsal 500 back-to-back, after Skaife, Ambrose and Whincup. In doing so he also provided the Holden Racing Team with a record sixth and seventh event wins, two ahead of Triple Eight, who scored their fifth victory in 2017 with van Gisbergen. The intervening event in 2016 was disrupted by thunderstorms and heavy rain on the Sunday with Nick Percat eventually taking his first solo win and the first for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport amidst a delayed start, confusion surrounding the fuel drop regulations and a red flag.
Van Gisbergen swept the 2017 and 2018 editions of the event, taking four poles and four race victories. The 2018 victory, in the twentieth running of the event, was the first victory for the Holden ZB Commodore in its debut appearance.
Awards and recognitionEdit
The Clipsal 500 Adelaide has been recognised on several occasions as the winner of the ‘Major Festivals & Events’ category at the Australian Tourism Awards (2003/04, 2005, 2007 and 2008), demonstrating the event is more than a motor race, comparing with the best the country has to offer in the fields of the arts, sports, or once-off spectaculars. The event also regularly features a music concert every night, in addition to air displays, amusements, and social events that attract visitors from interstate and overseas.
The event won best event of the series every year from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 it was inducted into the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame, the first time an individual event has been inducted. In 2008 the Clipsal 500 was attended by 291,400 people, the largest crowd for a domestic motorsport event in Australia. The 2008 crowd remains the record attendance for the event until 2018.
- ^1 The winner of the Sunday race is regarded as the Clipsal 500 winner, regardless of total points scored over the weekend. The 2000 event saw an exception to this rule, when Garth Tander was credited with the win despite Mark Skaife winning the Sunday race.
- ^2 In all but four events, the Sunday race winner was also the highest points scorer for the weekend (Todd Kelly scored the most points in 2007; Craig Lowndes scored the most points in 2013 and 2014; and Michael Caruso scored the most points in 2016).
|4||Jamie Whincup||2006, 2008, 2009, 2011|
|3||Shane van Gisbergen||2013, 2017, 2018|
|2||Mark Skaife||2002, 2003|
|Marcos Ambrose||2004, 2005|
|Garth Tander||2000, 2010|
|James Courtney||2014, 2015|
|7||Holden Racing Team|
|6||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2||Stone Brothers Racing|
- 1999: Sensational Adelaide 500
- 2000–17: Clipsal 500 Adelaide
- 2018: Adelaide 500
- 2019-present: Superloop Adelaide 500
- "Supercars Operations Manual 2018 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (8 October 2016). "Format change for Clipsal 500 Adelaide". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Robbie Williams to headline Adelaide 500 concert". Supercars.com. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- Parliament of South Australia – House of Assembly Hansard, 4 November 1998[permanent dead link]
- "Clipsal to drop Adelaide 500 event sponsorship". Speedcafe. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- "Clipsal 500 deal extended until 2021". Speedcafe. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- Howard, Tom; Herrero, Dan (26 February 2018). "POLL: Favourite Adelaide 500 moment". Speedcafe. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
- "Legendry [sic] Lowndes Blitzes Adelaide 500". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007.
- Dale, William (27 February 2015). "Top 10 Clipsal 500 magic moments". The Advertiser. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Gallery: 20 years of Adelaide 500 winners". Supercars.com. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- "V8 Supercars announces 2012 calendar". Speedcafe. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (6 March 2016). "Percat wins chaotic rain hit Clipsal 500". Speedcafe. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- Adam, Mitchell (4 March 2018). "Adelaide double for van Gisbergen, Whincup DNFs". Supercars.com. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best major festival or event for third time Archived 4 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- South Australia – Clipsal 500 Adelaide Archived 2 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best festival or event Archived 27 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Attendance Figures". adelaide500.com.au. Retrieved 4 March 2018.