The Adelaide Street Circuit (also known as the Adelaide Parklands Circuit) is a temporary street circuit in the East Parklands adjacent to the central business district of the city of Adelaide in South Australia.
The 3.780 km (2.349 mi) long "Grand Prix" version of the track hosted eleven Formula One Australian Grand Prix events from 1985 to 1995, as well as an American Le Mans Series endurance race on New Year's Eve in 2000 (Race of a Thousand Years). This was the only race of a nine-year contract and the last race to be held on the original Grand Prix circuit.
Since 1999, the track has hosted an annual V8 Supercar race called the Adelaide 500, currently known as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, (2 x 250 km races) on a shorter, 3.219 km (2.012 mi) variant of the track. Both the Grand Prix and V8 Supercars versions race clockwise around the circuit.
Memorable F1 moments
1985: McLaren's three time and defending World Champion Niki Lauda raced his last Grand Prix before retiring, he crashed out of the lead on lap 57 with no brakes. It was the last win for Finland's 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg, driving his last race for Williams before taking Lauda's place at McLaren for 1986. Brazilian Ayrton Senna scored the track's first F1 Pole Position with a time of 1:19.843 in his Lotus-Renault. Senna retired from the lead with a blown engine on lap 62. Earlier in the race he had hit Rosberg's Williams-Honda at the pits hairpin as the Finn braked peeled off the track to pit for tyres, with Senna losing the front wing of his car. He did a full lap before missing the pits after driving too quickly through the previous turn in his haste to get into the pits and speared off the track, causing him to do a second lap with the missing front wing. Finishing 2nd and 3rd were Ligier pair Jacques Laffite and Philippe Streiff. Streiff defied belief when he tried to overtake his team mate with just over a lap to go and collided with him. Both carried on, Laffite was undamaged but Streiff drove the last lap and a bit with the left front wheel of his Renault powered Ligier JS25 bouncing around, held on only by the suspension mounting points which had not broken all the way through. Only 8 of the 26 starters reached the chequered flag in a race run in 35°C heat. It was the last Grand Prix for the factory Renault team, the pioneer's of turbocharging in F1 bowing out as a constructor (Renault would return to Grand Prix Racing as a constructor in 2002). The Grand Prix won the Formula One Race Promoters' Trophy as the best run Formula One Grand Prix of 1985.
1986: Nigel Mansell's Williams Honda blew a tyre on Brabham straight at over 180 mph (290 km/h), destroying his world title chance on lap 63. He managed to drive the car to safety and avoid a heavy impact with the wall (Mansell later noted that had he hit not been able to control the car and had hit the wall, the accident most likely would have seen the race stopped, which would have left him as the World Champion). One lap earlier, defending race winner Keke Rosberg, driving his last GP both for McLaren, and in F1 before retiring, pulled off the track in much the same place as Mansell's dramatic blow-out a lap later when his left rear tyre delaminated on lap 62. Rosberg, who at the time led by over 30 seconds, thought it was an engine problem, pulled off the circuit and got out of the McLaren-TAG, not knowing he could have easily made it to the pits to change tyres (the Finn was seen looking at the back of his car soon after stopping before throwing his arms up in despair after a marshal pointed out the tyre). Rosberg's McLaren team mate Alain Prost won the title after his first victory in Adelaide becoming the first back-to back F1 World Champion since Australian Jack Brabham had done so in 1959 and 1960, with Sir Jack in attendance to see Prost emulate his feat. Prost's win saw him become the first, and as of 2013, the only winner of the Australian Grand Prix in both World Championship and Australian domestic formats having previously won the race in 1982. It was the last race for Australia's 1980 World Champion Alan Jones, who retired from F1 for good after qualifying his Lola-Ford 15th, but not finishing due to a blown engine on lap 15. It was also the team's last race and the last race for his team mate Patrick Tambay whose car carried an onboard camera during the race (as did the Lotus-Renault of Johnny Dumfries, much to the delight of BBC television commentator James Hunt). It was also the last race in which the famous Lotus team would carry the distinctive Black and Gold sponsorship colours of John Player Special, or run the Renault turbo engine, the turbo pioneers in F1 not supplying their turbocharged engines after the season.
1987: Both qualifying and the race were dominated by just one driver. Ferrari's Gerhard Berger (despite suffering from a cold all weekend) confirmed the Maranello team's revival winning from pole and setting fastest lap after also having won the previous race in Japan from pole. Ayrton Senna finished 2nd on the road in his Lotus-Honda, but was later disqualified for oversized brake ducts giving Berger's team mate Michele Alboreto 2nd place and Ferrari's first 12 since the 1985 Canadian Grand Prix. Thierry Boutsen finished 3rd in his Benetton-Ford.
1988: In a season almost totally dominated by the McLaren-Honda's of 1988 World Champion Ayrton Senna and his team mate Alain Prost, it was no surprise to see them dominate qualifying with Senna taking his 13th pole of the season, the pair over 1.6 seconds than 3rd fastest Nigel Mansell in his atmospheric Williams-Judd. Ferrari's Gerhard Berger, knowing that he most likely wouldn't finish before running out of fuel, told race favourites Prost and Senna that he was going to send the Ferrari turbo out in a blaze of glory by running full turbo boost and would pass them early to put on a show for the fans. Berger's team mate Michele Alboreto in his last race for the team had planned to do the same but a clash with the Dallara-Ford of fellow Italian driver Alex Caffi just 3 corners into the race saw him retire with suspension damage. Throwing caution to the wind, Berger made good on his promise and charged, first passing Senna on lap 3 then taking the lead from Prost on lap 14. He continued to build a lead until taken out by Ligier's René Arnoux on lap 25 while lapping the Frenchman. Prost then won an easy race from Senna, with outgoing World Champion Nelson Piquet in his Lotus-Honda making it an all Honda turbo podium in the last F1 race for turbo powered cars.
1989: The first of two wet races in Adelaide. World Champion elect Alain Prost (McLaren) pulled out after only one lap protesting the conditions (something most of the other drivers' later wished they had also done). Drivers went off the circuit everywhere leaving only 8 finishers with crashers including World Champions Nelson Piquet who drove his Lotus into the back of Piercarlo Ghinzani's Osella on lap 19, and Ayrton Senna who spectacularly drove his McLaren-Honda into the back of Martin Brundle's Brabham-Judd while some 30 seconds in the lead on lap 13. Television commentator Murray Walker described the vision from the rearward facing camera on Brundle's car as "Senna bearing down on it like Jaws". Thierry Boutsen, who finished 3rd in 1987, won his second Grand Prix of the season for Williams-Renault (and his second wet race) from the Benetton of the Japanese Grand Prix winner Alessandro Nannini. The much maligned Japanese driver Satoru Nakajima drove the race of his life in his last race for Lotus before moving to Tyrrell in 1990. After a spin at the chicane on the first lap, Nakajima charged hard through the field, setting the fastest lap of the race (1:38.480 compared to Senna's pole time of 1:16.665) and was rewarded with 4th place, only 4.648 seconds behind the Williams of Riccardo Patrese.
1990: The 500th World Championship Grand Prix held was again held in oppressive heat. World Champion elect Ayrton Senna again dominated qualifying and won the pole in his McLaren-Honda. He then led the race for 61 laps before crashing out when his gearbox failed. Nelson Piquet (Benetton-Ford) won his second F1 GP in a row having won the previous race in Japan, but the driver of the race was Ferrari's Nigel Mansell who set numerous lap records chasing both Senna and late in the race in his pursuit of his former Williams team mate Piquet only to finish 2nd by 3 seconds after a daring passing move on the last lap at the hairpin at the end of the Brabham Straight just missed taking both cars out. Mansell pulled out to lap the Brabham of Stefano Modena and attempted to take the Benetton as well, but was too far back and only just managed to slow his Ferrari up enough to avoid Piquet as he turned into the corner.
1991: In the shortest race in Formula 1 history, the race was stopped after 14 laps. Race winner Ayrton Senna had waved furiously from his cockpit that the conditions were too wet to race. 1990 winner Nelson Piquet retired from Formula One after the race, having won 24 races and 3 World Championships (1981, 1983 and 1987) in his career which started in 1978. Only half points were awarded for the race, the first time it had happened in F1 since the wet 1984 Monaco Grand Prix.
1992: In what was to be his last F1 race before moving to the US based Indy Car championship, 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell qualified his Williams-Renault on pole position. He was taken out at the pits hairpin while leading on lap 18 by the McLaren-Honda of outgoing World Champion Ayrton Senna. Senna's team mate Gerhard Berger narrowly won his second Australian Grand Prix, finishing only 0.741 in front of Michael Schumacher's Benetton-Ford. Formula One Grand Prix television commentator Martin Brundle finished 3rd in his Benetton, 54 seconds behind Berger and Schumacher. After five years (198892), 4 World Drivers' Championships, 4 Constructors Championships (198891) and 44 wins (15 turbo and 29 non-turbo), it was the last F1 race for McLaren using Honda engines with the Japanese company pulling out of Formula One.
1993: Ayrton Senna's 41st and last Grand Prix win in his last race for McLaren, and the 62nd pole position of his career. It was also the last of 199 Grands Prix for four time (1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993) World Champion Alain Prost who finished 2nd in his Williams-Renault. Prost's team mate Damon Hill, the son of twice (1962 and 1968) World Champion Graham Hill (who also won the non-championship 1966 AGP), finished 3rd.
1994: The 1994 World Championship was decided in Adelaide for the second time after Damon Hill (Williams-Renault) and Michael Schumacher (Benetton-Ford) collided on lap 35 at turn 6. Both drivers were unable to complete the race and Schumacher won the drivers' championship, with Hill finishing in second place giving Williams a score of 02 in championship deciders in Adelaide after both Mansell and Piquet failed to win in 1986. Making what was thought to be a one off comeback, 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell, driving for Williams, claimed the pole position for the race. He went on to score his 31st and last F1 win from the Ferrari of former team mate Gerhard Berger and Martin Brundle in the McLaren-Peugeot.
1995: McLarens Mika Häkkinen suffered a tyre failure during free practice at the high speed Brewery Bend between Jones and Brabham Straights. He crashed heavily into the wall and required an emergency tracheotomy, which was performed by the side of the track by an off-duty local doctor who happened to be spectating where Häkkinen crashed. Damon Hill won the final Grand Prix held at the circuit, lapping all the finishers by at least two laps. Hill's win saw he and his late father Graham join Stan and Alan Jones as the only father-son combination to win the Australian Grand Prix. The final Grand Prix in Adelaide set a Formula One attendance record of 210,000. The record wasn't beaten until 250,000 attended the 2000 United States Grand Prix held at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race was also the third time the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide had won the Formula One Race Promoters' Trophy as the best run Formula One Grand Prix of the season, having also won in 1985 and 1990.
The 500 metre long pit straight is inside the Victoria Park. During the Formula One and early V8 Supercar eras the Victoria Park Racecourse, a horse racing track, was located at the park, though has since been removed. The buildings and grandstands are temporary and removed each year due to ongoing campaigning by the Adelaide Parklands Preservation Association Inc. At the end of the straight, drivers negotiate the Senna Chicane, so named after triple World Champion Ayrton Senna following his death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Senna had sat on the pole for the first Adelaide Grand Prix in 1985, and would go on to take the pole in Adelaide 6 times in 9 races, while winning in 1991 (the shortest race in Formula One history due to torrential rain), as well as his last career victory in 1993. After the chicane the cars take a fast left turn to go uphill on a short straight on Wakefield Road to East Terrace. They then have a series of right angle turns along East Terrace. The short form of the track has three of these, followed by fourth onto Bartels Road back across the parklands. Then the track follows the fast turn 8 sweeper. This corner was re-configured in 2009 and it produced some protests from the many of the teams due to its speed and lack of runoff area. Turn 8 has been the site of many crashes in the various categories that have used the shortened version of the circuit.
The long form of the circuit bypasses the turn onto Bartels Road and continues with a sweeping left-right-right into Stag Turn (turn 9). This leads onto the 350 metre long Jones Straight (known as Rundle Road for the rest of the year). Then there is a fast right-hand sweeper (known as Brewery Bend) onto the 900 metre long Brabham Straight, on Dequetteville Terrace where the Formula One cars in the turbo era (198588) were reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h). The short form of the track rejoins halfway down this straight, so the 640 metre long Bartels Road straight is longest on that layout. In 2007 this section of track was renamed Brock Straight after nine time Bathurst 1000 winner Peter Brock who had been killed in a crash while competing in the Targa West rally in 2006. At the end of Brabham Straight is a right hand hairpin turn (at the Britannia Roundabout) onto Wakefield Road, then a left turn and long sweeping right hand curve back into Victoria Park behind the pit area. The lap concludes with another right-hand hairpin (Racetrack Hairpin) onto the pit straight.
The track is essentially flat except for a small valley on the Brock Straight, and a slight incline on Jones Straight, while the run up Wakefield Road from turns 3 to 4 also has a slight incline. All of these sections of track run in an east-west direction.
Shorter route used by V8 Supercars
Longer route used by Formula 1 and ALMS
When the idea of holding a Grand Prix in the parklands was first raised, there was some opposition from people concerned about environmental damage, as the parks have a number of mature trees with birds and possums living in them. There is no larger wildlife in the parklands, as they are heavily developed. These concerns seem to have been proven unfounded, as spectators often watch magpies and rosellas when there is nothing happening on the track. Indeed, the total road traffic during race weekend is significantly less than there is any other day of the year.
The race meetings have the feature race, but also a number of races for "lesser" categories, making four days of entertainment for the crowds of spectators, without long periods of boredom that could occur if only practice and qualifying for the main event preceded it. Many of the events also have after-race concerts on a stage erected for the purpose on a playing field in the middle of the track.
The stadium section also hosted the Pedal prix and a prologue stage of the Classic Adelaide Rally and the replacement Targa Adelaide Rally.
The pit straight is used each November for the Sporting Car Club of South Australia's annual John Blanden's Climb To The Eagle. This event commenced as part of the 1985 Formula One with many well known racing identies taking part. The event sees up to 600 sports and exotic cars lined up on the starting grid before leaving to drive to Eagle on the Hill in the Adelaide Hills on the Friday of the weekend when the F1 Grand Prix was traditionally held in Adelaide. Another event held in November is the annual Toy Run which features over 1,000 motorcycle riders donating toys for under privileged children. The Toy Run moved to using the pit straight as its starting point in 2012 after previously starting from Glenelg. Källa: Wikipedia.