Mallala Motor Sport Park

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Mallala Motor Sport Park
Mallala Motorsport Park in Australia.svg
Track map
Location Mallala, South Australia
Time zone UTC+09:30 (UTC+10.5 DST)
Coordinates 34°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
Owner Clem Smith
Opened 19 August 1961 [1]
Re-opened: 1980
Major events Australian Grand Prix
Australian Drivers' Champ.
Australian Tourist Trophy
Australian Sports Car Champ.
Australian Touring Car Champ.
V8 Supercar Development Series
Length 2.601 km (1.616 mi)
Turns 10 (Officially 8)
Lap record 1:02.57 (Paul Stokell, Reynard 90D Holden, 1994, Formula Holden)

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 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 Track[edit]

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

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.

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.

Major events[edit]

Australian Grand Prix[edit]

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 Championship[edit]

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 the Adelaide Parklands Circuit.

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 Touring Cars
1969 Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang Mustang Team
1970 Ian Geoghegan Ford Mustang Geoghegan's Sporty Cars
1971 Bob Jane Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 Bob Jane Racing Team
Group 3A Touring Cars
1989 Dick Johnson Ford Sierra RS500 Shell Ultra-Hi Racing
1990 Colin Bond Ford Sierra RS500 Caltex CXT Racing
1991 Mark Skaife Nissan GT-R Nissan Motor Sport
1992 Mark Skaife Nissan GT-R Winfield Racing
Group 3A Touring Cars (5.0 Litre)
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
V8 Supercars
1997 Greg Murphy Holden VS Commodore Holden Racing Team
1998 Russell Ingall Holden VS Commodore Castrol Perkins Racing

V8 Supercar Development Series[edit]

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 1998. Since 1999 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' Championship[edit]

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

Lap records[edit]

As of 29 April 2014.
Class Driver Vehicle Time Date
Outright
Australia Paul Stokell Reynard 90D Holden 1:02.57 7 August 1994
Racing Cars
Formula Holden Australia Paul Stokell Reynard 90D Holden 1:02.57 7 August 1994
Formula 3 United Kingdom Ben Clucas Dallara F304 Spiess Opel 1:04.3218 25 June 2006
Superkart Australia Gary Pegoraro Anderson Maverick FPE 1:06.3237 7 June 2009
Formula 2 Australia Barry Ward Reynard 893 1:07.3
Formula Ford Australia Tim Slade Van Diemen RF04 Ford 1:11.4133 17 September 2006
Formula Vee Australia Ben Porter Checkmate 1:19.7145 31 October 2010
Sports Cars
Sports Sedan Australia Tony Ricciardello Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV-Chevrolet 1:05.6328 27 April 2014
Sports Racer United Kingdom James Winslow West WR 1000 1:05.9810 26 April 2014
Nations Cup Australia Paul Stokell Lamborghini Diablo GTR 1:08.5179 19 September 2004
Porsche GT3 Challenge Australia John Goodacre Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 1:09.0918 27 April 2014
Australian GT Australia David Wall Porsche 911 GT3 1:09.7070 25 June 2006
Touring Cars
V8 Supercars New Zealand Greg Murphy Holden VS Commodore 1:08.1437 13 July 1997
Group A Australia Mark Skaife Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 1:09.26 31 May 1992
Super Touring Australia Brad Jones Audi A4 Quattro 1:10.2569 19 July 1998
Improved Production D Australia Anthony Wallis Mazda 808 1:14.9796 3 May 2009
Improved Production C Australia James Sutton Mazda R100 1:16.52 2 November 2003
Commodore Cup Australia Daniel Richert Holden VS Commodore 1:17.6841 1 July 2007
Saloon Cars Australia Bruce Heinrich Holden VT Commodore 1:18.8580 23 August 2008
Production Cars Australia Steve Knight Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 1:19.3665 17 October 2007
V8 Utes Australia Grant Johnson Holden SS Ute 1:21.4940 21 August 2005
HQ Holdens Australia Neil Corey Holden HQ Kingswood 1:28.0356 15 May 2011
Motorcycles
Superbike Australia Josh Waters Suzuki GSX-R1000 1:05.803 31 August 2009
SuperSport Australia Jamie Stauffer Yamaha YZF-R6 1:07.424 31 August 2009
Prostock Australia Pat Medcalf Yamaha YZF-R1 1:09.231 31 August 2009
SuperStock Australia Daniel Falzon Yamaha YZF-R6 1:09.791 5 August 2012
125cc GP Australia Brett Simmonds Honda RS 125 1:12.265 5 June 2005
Sidecar United Kingdom Steve Abbott / Jamie Biggs Suzuki LCR 1:11.505 5 June 2005

References[edit]

  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 www.spriteclub.com.au on 24 May 2010
  4. ^ Austin 7 Club SA 50 Years Retrieved from www.austin7clubsa.com.au 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 www.silhouet.com 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

External links[edit]