Mallala Motor Sport Park

Mallala Motor Sport Park is a 2.6 km (1.6 mi) bitumen motor racing circuit near the town of Mallala in South Australia, 55 km north of the state capital, Adelaide.

Mallala Motor Sport Park
Mallala Motorsport Park in Australia.svg
Track map
LocationMallala, South Australia
Time zoneUTC+09:30 (UTC+10.5 DST)
Coordinates34°24′54″S 138°30′17″E / 34.41500°S 138.50472°E / -34.41500; 138.50472Coordinates: 34°24′54″S 138°30′17″E / 34.41500°S 138.50472°E / -34.41500; 138.50472
OwnerPeregrine Corporation
Opened19 August 1961 [1]
Re-opened: 1980
Major eventsAustralian Grand Prix
Australian Drivers' Champ.
Australian Tourist Trophy
Australian Sports Car Champ.
Australian Touring Car Champ.
V8 Supercar Development Series
Length2.601 km (1.616 mi)
Turns10 (Officially 8)
Race lap record1:02.57 (Paul Stokell, Reynard 90D Holden, 1994, Formula Brabham)

Mallala Race Circuit (1961 to 1971)Edit

The Mallala Race Circuit, as it was originally known,[2] was established on the site of the former RAAF Base Mallala. The land was purchased from the Royal Australian Air Force at public auction in 1961 by a group of enthusiasts seeking to create a replacement for the Port Wakefield Circuit.[3] South Australia had been allocated the 1961 Australian Grand Prix on the state by state rotational system that applied at that time, but the organisers had subsequently been informed by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) that the 2.092 km (1.3 mi) Port Wakefield venue, which had hosted the 1955 Australian Grand Prix, was no longer suitable to host the event.[4]

The opening meeting for the new venue was held on 19 August 1961 with Bib Stillwell winning the main event in a Cooper Climax.[1] The 1961 Australian Grand Prix headlined the circuits second meeting with Lex Davison winning his fourth and last AGP driving a Cooper T51 Coventry Climax FPF.[5] The original lap distance of 3.38 km (2.1 mi) was reduced to 2.601 km (1.616 mi) in late 1964[5] when Bosch Curve was moved closer to the Dunlop Curve Grandstand,[6] thus removing the north eastern leg of the circuit.[7]

Mallala served as South Australia's home of motor sport throughout the sixties[5] and it hosted a round of the Australian Drivers' Championship each year from 1961 to 1971.[8] The Australian Tourist Trophy was held there in 1962 and 1968[9] and the single race Australian Touring Car Championship was staged in 1963, as were annual rounds of the same championship after it changed to a series format in 1969. In 1971 the property was bought by Keith Williams who at the time owned the Surfers Paradise International Raceway, and was constructing the new Adelaide International Raceway.[3] Mallala was closed in that year as Williams had a court ordered covenant placed on the property preventing any motor sport activities. This ensured that Adelaide International would become the new home of motor racing in SA.[3]

Test TrackEdit

After the circuit's closure as a motor racing venue, Chrysler Australia, who had their manufacturing base in Adelaide, continued using the Mallala as their test track. Leading race drivers Leo and Pete Geoghegan, who were factory backed Chrysler drivers in Series Production racing, often tested vehicles such as the Chrysler Valiant Charger at the circuit. Mallala was also the test track for the Adelaide-based Elfin Sports Cars run by company founder Garrie Cooper. Elfin produced a variety of sports and Open-wheel race cars.

Mallala Motor Sport Park (1982 to date)Edit

Competitors in the 2010 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Series on the grid at Mallala Motor Sport Park on 30 May 2010
The Southern Hairpin at Mallala Motor Sport Park in 2013
The Northern Hairpin at Mallala Motors Sport Park in 2013
The Esses at Mallala Motor Sport Park in 2010
Race Control & PA Centre at Mallala Motor Sport Park in 2015

Following the purchase of the Mallala site by South Australia businessman and Sports Sedan racer Clem Smith in 1977, a Supreme Court decision declared the covenant unenforceable.[3] The facility was then redeveloped and was reopened for motorcycle racing in 1980 and for car racing in 1982.[5] It was now known as Mallala Motor Sport Park.[10]

The circuit was initially issued with a "B" track license, thus excluding the staging of championship level racing, and the track's biggest annual event became Historic Mallala which was held each Easter.[11] This was upgraded to an "A" track license in 1984, allowing Mallala to stage Round 5 of the 1984 Australian Formula 2 Championship on 3 June won by Keith McClelland driving a Cheetah Mk 8-VW. This was the first national championship round to be staged at the circuit since the final round of the 1971 Australian Sports Car Championship on 14 November 1971 won by John Harvey driving a McLaren M6B-Repco.

National championship motor racing continued sporadically over the next few years, but the circuit was brought back into national focus when it was chosen over Adelaide International to host a round of the Australian Touring Car Championship each year from 1989 to 1998. When that championship evolved into the Shell Championship Series in 1999, the Mallala round was replaced by the Clipsal 500, held on a shortened version of the Adelaide Street Circuit in an exclusive deal between V8 Supercars and the John Olsen led Government of South Australia. A round of the second tier V8 Supercar Development Series was held at Mallala Motor Sport Park each year from 2000 to 2006 before also moving to the Adelaide Street Circuit in 2007.

On 7 May 1989, Mallala had the honour of hosting the first ever Formula Holden race as part of the opening round of the 1989 Australian Drivers' Championship. Mark McLaughlin driving a South Australian designed and built Elfin FA891 won the opening heat of the meeting from former dual Australian Formula 2 champion Peter Glover, with television commentator turned race driver Neil Crompton finishing third.

Currently the main meetings held annually are the Mallala Historics each Easter and a round of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships staged shortly afterwards. Drifting now takes place on a regular basis in the form of the G1 Drift Competition and Drift Supercup which runs from turn 8 to turn 2. Supertruck Racing is no longer staged at Mallala due to the deteriorating surface of the track, the final event being in late 2009. Major meetings at Mallala are run by the Sporting Car Club of South Australia and other clubs that regularly use the circuit include the Adelaide Superkart Club, Marque Sports Car Association of SA, and the MG Car Club of SA. Since its re-opening, the Mallala circuit has also been used for private driver training courses and the South Australia Police use the circuit for driver training and assessment.

The Mallanats is an annual car show held at the circuit since 2009. The weekend includes burnout competitions and various performance car events similar to the Summernats format. The event returned once a year in 2010 and 2011, with two Mallanats events being scheduled in 2012.

The Elfin Mallala sports racing car was named after the circuit, having competed in its first race there.


Following the passing of owner Clem Smith in February 2017 the Peregrine Corporation, owners of the upcoming The Bend Motorsport Park, purchased the complex and took over the operations in May the same year.[12]

Major eventsEdit

Australian Grand PrixEdit

In just its second race meeting, the Mallala Race Circuit hosted the 1961 Australian Grand Prix. The race was won by Lex Davison driving a Cooper T51 Coventry Climax FPF from Bib Stillwell, with David McKay finishing third. McKay finished first on the road, but was controversially penalised 60 seconds for an alleged jump start.

Year Driver Car Entrant
Formula Libre
1961 Lex Davison Cooper T51 Coventry Climax FPF 2.2L BS Stillwell

Australian Touring Car ChampionshipEdit

Each year from 1960 to 1968 the Australian Touring Car Championship was contested as single race, with Mallala hosting the title in 1963 on its original 3.38 km (2.1 mi) layout. From 1969 onwards the championship was contested over a number of rounds with Mallala hosting a round each year from 1969 to 1971 and from 1989 to 1998. From 1972 to 1988 all ATCC rounds in South Australia were held at the Adelaide International Raceway. In 1999 the Australian Touring Car Championship was renamed to the Shell Championship Series with all South Australian rounds from that time held at a modified (shortened) version of the Adelaide Street Circuit.

In 1989 when the ATCC returned to Mallala after an absence of 18 years, the tight and bumpy circuit received mixed reviews from the top touring car drivers. Some, such as Nissan driver Jim Richards praised the circuit stating that the racing would be closer as it did not allow the all-powerful Ford Sierra RS500's to fully utilise their speed advantage. Others such as reigning (and that years) ATCC champion Dick Johnson were openly critical of the circuit and its lack of facilities, though some cynically noted that other than Bathurst, Johnson wouldn't admit to liking any circuit located outside of his home state of Queensland. Ironically, Dick Johnson would actually win the 1989 ATCC race at Mallala rather easily, claiming pole position and sprinting away from the field to win by 29 seconds after 60 minutes of racing. To his credit circuit owner Clem Smith would use the profits made from hosting Australia's highest profile race series which would regularly draw a capacity crowd despite not always having good weather, to continually upgrade the facilities at Mallala until the championship moved to Adelaide in 1999.[13]

The following table lists the winner of the single race 1963 championship and the winners of each Australian Touring Car Championship round held at the Mallala circuit.

Year Driver Car Entrant
Appendix J Touring Cars
1963   Bob Jane Jaguar Mark 2 Bob Jane
Group C Improved Production
1969   Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang GTA Mustang Team
1970   Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang GTA Geoghegan's Sporty Cars
1971   Bob Jane Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 Bob Jane Racing Team
Group A
1989   Dick Johnson Ford Sierra RS500 Shell Ultra-Hi Racing
1990   Colin Bond Ford Sierra RS500 Caltex CXT Racing
1991   Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R Nissan Motor Sport
1992   Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R Winfield Team Nissan
Group 3A Touring Cars
1993   Glenn Seton Ford EB Falcon Peter Jackson Racing
1994   Mark Skaife Holden VP Commodore Winfield Racing
1995   Glenn Seton Ford EF Falcon Peter Jackson Racing
1996   Craig Lowndes Holden VR Commodore Holden Racing Team
1997   Greg Murphy Holden VS Commodore Holden Racing Team
1998   Russell Ingall Holden VS Commodore Castrol Perkins Racing

Australian Super Touring ChampionshipEdit

Mallala hosted the Australian Super Touring Championship (known as the Australian 2.0 Litre Touring Car Championship in 1993 and Australian Manufacturers' Championship in 1994) 8 times between 1993 and 2000–01.

Year Winner Car Team
1993   John Smith Toyota Corolla Seca AE93 Caltex Team Toyota
1994   Tony Longhurst BMW 318i Benson & Hedges Racing
1995   Geoff Brabham BMW 318i Diet Coke BMW Racing
1996   Greg Murphy Audi A4 Quattro Orix Audi Sport Australia
1997   Cameron McConville Audi A4 Quattro Orix Audi Sport Australia
1998   Brad Jones Audi A4 Quattro Audi Sport Australia
1999   Paul Morris BMW 320i Paul Morris Motorsport
2000–01   Paul Morris BMW 320i Paul Morris Motorsport

V8 Supercar Development SeriesEdit

Mallala Motor Sport Park hosted a round of the V8 Supercar Development Series each year from the inception of the series in 2000 through to 2006. Since 2007 all South Australian rounds have been held at the Adelaide Parklands Circuit.

Year Driver Car Entrant
2000   David Besnard Ford EL Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2001   Simon Wills Holden VT Commodore Team Dynamik
2002   Paul Dumbrell Holden VX Commodore Independent Race Cars Australia
2003   Mark Winterbottom Ford AU Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2004   Greg Ritter Ford AU Falcon Speed FX Racing
2005   Dean Canto Ford BF Falcon Dick Johnson Racing
2006   Adam Macrow Ford BA Falcon Howard Racing

Australian Drivers' ChampionshipEdit

Mallala Race Circuit hosted the South Australian round of the annual Australian Drivers' Championship each year from 1961 to 1971. Mallala Motor Sport Park has hosted rounds in numerous years since 1988.

Year Driver Car Entrant
Formula Libre
1961   Lex Davison Cooper T51 Coventry Climax FPF BS Stillwell
1962   Bib Stillwell Cooper T53 Coventry Climax FPF BS Stillwell
1963   John Youl Cooper T55 Coventry Climax FPF John Youl
Australian National Formula & Australian 1½ Litre Formula
1964   Lex Davison Repco Brabham BT4 Coventry Climax FPF Ecurie Australie
1965   Bib Stillwell Repco Brabham BT11A Coventry Climax FPF BS Stillwell
1966   John Harvey Repco Brabham BT14 Ford RC Phillips
1967   Spencer Martin Repco Brabham BT11A Coventry Climax FPF Bob Jane Racing Team
1968   Leo Geoghegan Lotus 39 Repco Geoghegan Racing Team
Australian National Formula & Australian Formula 2
1969   Garrie Cooper Elfin 600C Repco Elfin Sports Cars
Australian Formula 1 & Australian Formula 2
1970   Leo Geoghegan Lotus 59 Waggott Geoghegan's Sporty Cars
1971   John McCormack Elfin MR5 Repco-Holden Elfin Sports Cars
Australian Formula 2
1988   Rohan Onslow Cheetah Mk8 Volkswagen RJ MacArthur Onslow
Formula Holden
1989   Mark McLaughlin Elfin FA891 Holden Elfin Sports Cars
1990   Mark Skaife SPA FB001 Holden Skaife Racing P/L
Formula Brabham
1991   Mark Skaife SPA 003 Holden Skaife Racing
1994   Paul Stokell Reynard 91D Holden Birrana Racing
1995   Paul Stokell Reynard 91D Holden Birrana Racing
Formula Holden
1996   Jason Bright Reynard 91D Holden Birrana Racing
1997   Mark Noske Lola T93/50 Holden Mark Noske
2000   Simon Wills Reynard 94D Holden Birrana Racing
2001   Rick Kelly Reynard 94D Holden Holden Young Lions
2002   Will Power Reynard 94D Holden Ralt Australia
Formula 4000
2003   Daniel Gaunt Reynard 96D Holden Ralt Australia / Pure Power Racing
2004   Neil McFadyen Reynard 96D Holden Ralt Australia
Australian Formula 3
2005   Michael Caruso Dallara F301 Spiess Opel Picollo Scuderia Corse
2006   Ben Clucas Dallara F304 Spiess Opel Gawler Farm Machinery
2007   James Winslow Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda Piccola Scuderia Corse
2008   Leanne Tander Dallara F307 Mercedes-Benz TanderSport
2010   Ben Barker Dallara F307 HWA-Mercedes-Benz Team BRM
2017   Calan Williams Dallara F311 Mercedes-Benz Gilmour Racing

Australian Formula 2 ChampionshipEdit

Australian Formula 2 Championship raced at Mallala 6 times between 1971 and 1988.

Year Winner Car Team
1971   Henk Woelders Elfin 600C Waggott Bill Patterson Racing
1984   Keith McClelland Cheetah Mk 8 Volkswagen Keith McClelland
1985   Peter Glover Cheetah Mk 8 Volkswagen Peter Macrow
1986   Jon Crooke Cheetah Mk 8 Volkswagen Jonathon Crooke
1987   Mark McLaughlin Elfin 852 Volkswagen Elfin Sports Cars Pty Ltd
1988   Rohan Onslow Cheetah Mk 8 Volkswagen RJ MacArthur Onslow

Australian Sports Sedan ChampionshipEdit

The Australian Sports Sedan Championship raced at Mallala 6 times between 1991 and 2003.

Year Winner Car Team
1991   Mick Monterosso Ford Escort Mark II Chevrolet Mick Monterosso
1992   Brian Smith Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet B. Smith
1998   Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet Basil Ricciardello
1999   Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet Basil Ricciardello
2000   Kerry Baily Nissan 300ZX Chevrolet Kerry Baily
2003   Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Chevrolet Basil Ricciardello

Australian Nations Cup ChampionshipEdit

The Australian Nations Cup Championship raced at Mallala in 2004. It would be the final ever round of the Nations Cup Championship for GT style cars.

Year Winner Car Team
2004   James Brock Holden Monaro 427C Team Brock

Australian GT ChampionshipEdit

The Australian GT Championship raced at Mallala in 2006.

Year Winner Car Team
2006   Bryce Washington Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car Type 996 ADRAD Radiator Experts

Lap recordsEdit

As of 18 Nov 2017.
Class Driver Vehicle Time Date
  Paul Stokell Reynard 90D Holden 1:02.57 7 August 1994
Racing Cars
Formula Holden   Paul Stokell Reynard 90D Holden 1:02.57 7 August 1994
Formula 3   Calan Williams Dallara F311 Mercedes Benz 1:03.4078 11 June 2017
Superkart   Gary Pegoraro Anderson Maverick FPE 1:06.3237 7 June 2009
Formula 2   Barry Ward Reynard 893 Volkswagen 1:07.3
Formula 1000   Aaron Steer Firman F1000 1:09.3565 23 May 2015
Formula Ford   Tim Slade Van Diemen RF04 Ford Duratec 1:11.4133 17 September 2006
Formula Vee   Ben Porter Checkmate 1:19.7145 31 October 2010
Sports Cars
Sports Sedan   Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV-Chevrolet 1:05.6328 27 April 2014
Sports Racer   James Winslow West WR 1000 1:05.9810 26 April 2014
Nations Cup   Paul Stokell Lamborghini Diablo GTR 1:08.5179 19 September 2004
Porsche GT3 Challenge   John Goodacre Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 1:09.0918 27 April 2014
Australian GT   David Wall Porsche 911 GT3 1:09.7070 25 June 2006
Touring Cars
Time Attack Pro Class   Matt Longhurst Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 1:05.8612 18 November 2017
V8 Supercars   Greg Murphy Holden VS Commodore 1:08.1437 13 July 1997
Dunlop V8 Supercar   Paul Dumbrell Holden VT Commodore 1:08.7330 12 August 2001
Group A   Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 1:09.26 31 May 1992
Super Touring   Brad Jones Audi A4 Quattro 1:10.2569 19 July 1998
Improved Production D   Chris Brown Toyota AE86 Sprinter 1:12.5423 21 Aug 2016
Time Attack ClubSprint   Andrew Wegener Honda S2000 1:14.8180 29 October 2016
Improved Production C   Michael De Luca Mazda RX7 1:15.5948 21 Aug 2016
Commodore Cup   Daniel Richert Holden VS Commodore 1:17.6841 1 July 2007
Saloon Cars   Wayne King Holden VT Commodore 1:18.6555 23 May 2016
Production Cars   Steve Knight Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:19.3665 17 October 2007
V8 Utes   Grant Johnson Holden SS Ute 1:21.4940 21 August 2005
Circuit Excel   Jaylyn Robotham Hyundai Excel 1:26.4202 5 November 2017
HQ Holdens   Neil Corey Holden HQ Kingswood 1:28.0356 15 May 2011
Superbike   Josh Waters Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:05.803 31 August 2009
SuperSport   Jamie Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R6 1:07.424 31 August 2009
Prostock   Pat Medcalf Yamaha YZF-R1 1:09.231 31 August 2009
SuperStock   Daniel Falzon Yamaha YZF-R6 1:09.791 5 August 2012
125cc GP   Brett Simmonds Honda RS 125 1:12.265 5 June 2005
Sidecar   Steve Abbott / Jamie Biggs Suzuki LCR 1:11.505 5 June 2005

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Stuart Innes, Mallala's lap of honour, The Advertiser, Saturday, 20 August 2011, page 41
  2. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, Mallala Motor Races, Easter Monday, 15 April 1963, page 6
  3. ^ a b c d Mallala History Retrieved from on 24 May 2010
  4. ^ Austin 7 Club SA 50 Years Retrieved from on 25 May 2010
  5. ^ a b c d The Macquarie Dictionary of Motoring, 1986, page 288
  6. ^ The Revised Race Track, Official Souvenir Programme, Mallala Motor Races, 12 October 1964, page 6
  7. ^ Mallala circuit map Retrieved from on 25 May 2010
  8. ^ Gold Star Supplement, Racing Car News, August 1972
  9. ^ 1980 CAMS Manual of Motor Sport, page 56
  10. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, The Premier Meeting of Mallala Motor Sport Park, 27 June 1982
  11. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, The Premier Meeting of Mallala Motor Sport Park, 27 June 1982, page 4
  12. ^ Kemp, Miles (11 May 2017). "SA's No. 1 motorsport fan Sam Shahin plans to improve Mallala Motor Sport Park after buying it". The Advertiser. News Corp. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  13. ^ 1989 ATCC R5 Mallala

External linksEdit