Adelaide's need for speed at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival

Last updated 23 Mar, 2023

The CBD will be an automotive museum in motion when the Adelaide Motorsport Festival gets the green light this weekend following a five-year pitstop.

The festival around Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi celebrates the glory years motorsport in South Australia, featuring a large range of rare, vintage and classic vehicles, as well as all the latest in go-fast tech.

The Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) and City of Adelaide are proud supporters of the festival that returns to CBD streets for the first time since 2018.

The event was supported through the Strategic Events Fund, helping the organisers establish the RAA E-motion Zone that features the latest model hybrids, EVs, advanced prototypes, storage systems and more.

Event Director Tim Possingham says Adelaide car buffs are ready and roaring for the event following last year’s VALO Adelaide 500, which generated a record economic impact of $51.85 million.

“Adelaide held the first ever motorsport event in Australia in 1906 at the Adelaide Oval, so we have always been at the forefront of motorsport,” Mr Possingham says.

“And of course, we had the Adelaide Grand Prix from 1985-95, Group A Touring Car Racing as part of that and the Clipsal (500).

“So we are mainly nostalgic, but also forward thinking as well.”

Mr Possingham says there will be about 238 cars on track across 17 different categories, which change every 15 minutes. 

The festival rolls into the city’s vibrant East End for a street party on Friday 24 March, starting with a high-powered parade of vehicles running from Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi along the original Grand Prix track before arriving at The Stag.

Professional drivers appearing at the party include Stefan Johansson, David Brabham, Hayden Paddon, Craig Lowndes and more.

London-based artist Jimmy C will produce a Lamborghini painting over the course of the weekend, with the final product sent to Italy to go on display in the brand’s headquarters.

Aston Martin will bring its next iteration Valhalla concept car to the event, while Sir Jack Brabham’s 1966 Formula 1 championship-winning Brabham will be driven around the track by his son and grandson.

There will also be fine wine, distilling and dining experiences available, including hospitality from popular restaurants including Soi38, Salopian Inn, Fishbank and arkhé in corporate boxes.

“You don’t even need to be a motorsport fan to enjoy this event, and what I mean by that is that it is short bites of really tasty, interesting stuff that changes rapidly rather than just sitting down to one serving,” Mr Possingham says.

“We do have grandstand, but there is also an area where people can sit under trees on Wakefield Road and have a picnic and whatnot.”

Mr Possingham says his team is grateful for AEDA’s support because establishing a zone dedicated to electric vehicles is “incredibly” relevant.

“We couldn’t have developed the (RAA) E-motion Zone to the size and scale … and I think the whole precinct really fits in with the City of Adelaide’s carbon neutral mission and where the city is headed as a leader in renewables,” he says.

“We want to develop the zone into a bigger and better space each and every year with exciting electric content.

“That is the future, we are never going to leave behind the heritage and history of motorsport, we will always have formula one cars, but as mainstream becomes more electrified, we will naturally have more electric vehicles at the event.”

Adelaide Motorsport Festival is on from 24-26 March.

To learn more about events and sponsorship funding visit click here.

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