2017 Adelaide Motorsport Festival draws 30,000 fans to Victoria Park

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Perfect weather greeted over 30,000 fans across two days for the fourth edition of the Adelaide Motorsport Festival last weekend on the old Grand Prix circuit in the city’s parklands.

All images © F1Destinations.com.

The event kicked off on Friday night with the “Peak Hour of Power” parade as the star cars of the event, including several F1s and the Ferrari FXX, drove from Victoria Park through the city to a street party on Gouger Street. Seven F1 cars hit the 1.4km Victoria Park sprint circuit over the course of the weekend, which takes in part of the old Adelaide F1 street circuit. The lap record set by Ivan Capelli in a Leyton House March last year was shattered by Tim Slade, who set a 43.03 second lap in a 1994 Footwork FA15.

Second fastest was one of the oldest F1 cars in action, a stunning 1974 March 741 in orange Jägermeister livery that recorded a 44.49 seconds lap with Joe Calleja behind the wheel. Among the other F1 machines in action were several Adelaide-era cars, including the mega 1986 BMW Benetton B186, which once produced up to 1350bhp in qualifying trim from its 1.5 liter BMW turbo engine.

A 1989 Dallara BMS F189 (ex-Andrea De Cesaris) also travelled from South Africa for the event, whilst local man Brenton Griguol got behind the wheel of his latest acquisition, a 1988 Lola Larousse LC88 once raced in Adelaide by Philippe Alliot. Rounding out the F1 cars was a 1980 Williams FW07B, the car that gave Williams their first World Championship with Alan Jones behind the wheel, and a 2000 Arrows A21 with an Asiatec V10.

It wasn’t just about F1 cars, of course. The on-track schedule included multiple groups of modern and historic racers, including touring cars and motorbikes. In addition to on-track action, there was plenty of new and historic cars on static display to pass the time between sessions.

The Southern Hemisphere's answer to the Goodwood Festival of Speed?

Having been to most of the Formula 1 races held in Adelaide from 1985-1995, it was special to see these cars back in the parklands. One of the keys of such events is having the ability to get up close to the cars and chat with the drivers, and the AMF didn’t disappoint on this front. My personal highlight was meeting Brenton Griguol and giving him an old Larousse team jumper that had been sitting in my cupboard for the best part of 30 years!

Event organizer Tim Possingham has talked about his plans to run the cars on a longer circuit and add an additional day of competition in the future. I’m also hoping to see some bigger name drivers reunited with leading cars from the Adelaide Grand Prix years. We saw this happen last year with Stefan Johansson, Pierluigi Martini and Ivan Capelli driving their original F1 machinery from the Adelaide race. I understand that there are challenges (and money) involved in getting big names and expensive machinery down under, but how good would it be to see names like Alain Prost, Gerhard Berger, Jean Alesi or Nigel Mansell back in Adelaide and even behind the wheel of their race-winning cars? This would really establish the event as a true rival to Goodwood’s Festival of Speed.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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