Five reasons to attend the Adelaide Motorsport Festival this weekend

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It’s 22 years since Adelaide lost Formula 1 to Melbourne, but a growing local motorsport event is sparking memories and reviving interest. Up to 30,000 fans are expected at Victoria Park this weekend for the fourth edition of the Adelaide Motorsport Festival. Here’s some highlights of the program.

Nine F1 cars will hit a shortened version of the old Adelaide Grand Prix circuit

This year’s F1 lineup includes four Adelaide-era cars, including the insanely powerful Benetton B186 from 1986, which produced up to 1350bhp in qualifying trim. Craig Lowndes will be sharing the Benetton’s driving duties with Cameron Waters. The other Adelaide-era cars in action include a 1988 Lola Larousse LC88, 1989 BMS Scuderia Italia Dallara F189 and a 1994 Footwork FA15. Joining them will be a pair of March F1 cars from 1970 and 1974, the latter to be driven by touring car legend John Bowe, plus a Williams FW07B, the car that Australian Alan Jones won the World Championship with in 1980. The F1 cars hit the track four times over the course of the weekend, and will be on display the rest of the time.

Gouger Street party on Friday night

Recapture some of the atmosphere that made Adelaide such a fantastic host city for Formula 1 at the free street party on Gouger Street this Friday from 6pm. Better still, get yourself a good vantage point just before for the “Peak Hour of Power” parade from 5.45pm as some of the legendary cars in action this weekend drive from Victoria Park through the city to Gouger Street. Recommended places to watch include Victoria Square and Grote Street. The video above shows Stefan Johannson driving his Ferrari F156/85 to last year’s street party.

F1 v WTF86

On Saturday afternoon, the Footwork FA15 driven by Josh Kean will take on the insane StreetFX WTF86 piloted by Tim Slade in a rolling-start drag race. The modified modified Toyota 86 with a 1000bhp Nissan GTR engine has the power advantage, but the F1 car is much lighter. Who’s going to win? You’ll need to watch at 4.45pm on Saturday in Victoria Park to find out.

Touring car legends

The Adelaide Motorsport Festival is not only about Formula 1, of course. A crop of current Supercar drivers will be attending this year, including Craig Lowndes, Cameron Waters and Tim Slade. Touring car legend John Bowe will also take part in a demo on Sunday afternoon behind the wheel of a 1990 Ford RS500 Sierra. In addition, the awesome Jaguar XJ-S, winner of the 1985 Bathurst 1000 will be part of the on-track action in the Heritage Touring Car category.

Ferrari WXX

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the famous Italian marque and to celebrate, you can see the rare Ferrari FXX on track at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival this weekend with Craig Lowndes behind the wheel. Just 30 models were built and the car is only allowed to be driven at Ferrari-approved track days. The FXX is powered by a massive 6.3 liter V12 capable of producing 800bhp.

Tickets for the Victoria Park Sprint this weekend (December 9-10) are available from One day adult tickets cost $30 per day (or $50 for the weekend) and children’s tickets are $5.

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Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of 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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