|Venue||Adelaide Street Circuit|
|Number of times held||17|
|Last Event (2015)|
|James Courtney||Holden Racing Team|
|Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Fabian Coulthard||Brad Jones Racing|
|James Courtney||Holden Racing Team|
The Adelaide 500 (known for sponsorship reasons as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide or Clipsal 500, or colloquially as just Clipsal) is an annual motor racing event for V8 Supercars, held on the streets of the east end of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. First held in 1999, the event uses a shortened form of the Adelaide Street Circuit, the former Australian Grand Prix track.
Usually held over four days in early March, the "500" itself consists of two 125 km races and one 250 km for V8 Supercars held on the last two days of the meeting. Before 2014, there were two 250 km races. For much of its life the two/three races combined to give an overall result for the winner of the Adelaide 500, although the message was often confused as podium celebrations based on the results of each day individually were held. More than most the race regulations have been fiddled with many times, most famous on the day of the first event where original regulations stated the race was one 500 kilometre race with an overnight break at the 250 km mark. When a significant portion of high profile cars retired in the first day of the original 1999 event the regulations were changed overnight to allow those cars to start the Sunday race.
In 2008 V8 Supercars briefly attempted to retrospectively change the winners of past Adelaide 500s to recognise only Sunday race winners, even to the point of changing overall series statistics, but have since reverted. A major regulation change for the championship as a whole in 2009 saw each race in the championship recognised individually and 'round results' were no longer officially recognised. Since then V8 Supercars Australia have stepped away from the concept of an overall two-day Adelaide 500 winner.
Although the results of all races count towards the V8 Supercars championship, the winner of the third race is declared the winner of the "Clipsal 500 Adelaide", regardless of the results of the first race. The rest of the four days are filled with practice, qualifying, and support races for a number of other racing categories, including the V8 Development Series, Formula Three, V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters and Carrera Cup.
The Adelaide Street Circuit was used for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix from 1985 to 1995. V8 Supercars, then known as the Group 3A Touring Cars, had competed in support races at each of these Grands Prix although these races did not count towards the annual Australian Touring Car Championship. The state of South Australia had previously hosted championship rounds of the ATCC at Mallala Motor Sport Park in 1963 and between 1969 and 1998 and at Adelaide International Raceway from 1972 to 1988.
On 1 September 1998, the Government of South Australia announced the conclusion of successful negotiations with the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) for the staging of a V8 Supercar race to be known as the Sensational Adelaide 500 on a shortened version of the Grand Prix track. The race effectively replaced the Mallala round on the calendar. The initial contract was for a period of five years with an option for a further five years. After the conclusion of the 1999 race, Clipsal were announced as the event's major sponsor and it became known as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.
The 1999 event saw Craig Lowndes win the Saturday race, only to be disqualified due to his involvement in an accident with Danny Osborne, and made to start from the back of the grid for race two on the Sunday. Lowndes passed every car in the field to also win race two and become the first winner of the Adelaide 500. As of 2015, Lowndes has never won the event since. Lowndes' disqualification from race one was later overturned.
From 1999 to 2003 the Adelaide 500 was dominated by Holden teams, with three wins to Mark Skaife and one each to Jason Bright and Lowndes. It wasn't until 2004 that a Ford driver won the event, with Marcos Ambrose winning both races. Ambrose gave Ford another event win in 2005, before Jamie Whincup made it three in 2006. It was Whincup's first event win in V8 Supercars, and was also his first event since moving to Triple Eight Race Engineering. Whincup went on to win again in 2008, 2009 and 2011 to be the most successful driver in the event's history.
From 2002 to 2009, the Clipsal 500 was the opening round of the championship. It lost this position in 2010 and 2011, with the Yas V8 400 in the United Arab Emirates opening the series. From 2012, Adelaide returned to being the opening round. In 2014 and 2015, James Courtney became the fourth driver to win the Clipsal 500 back-to-back, after Skaife, Ambrose and Whincup. He also provided Holden Racing Team with their sixth and seventh event wins, more than double any other team has achieved.
Awards and recognition
The Clipsal 500 Adelaide has been recognised on several occasions as the winner of the ‘Major Festivals & Events’ category at the Australian Tourism Awards (2003/04, 2005, 2007 and 2008), demonstrating the event is more than a motor race, comparing with the best the country has to offer in the fields of the arts, sports, or once-off spectaculars. The event also regularly features a music concert every night, in addition to air displays, amusements, and social events that attract visitors from interstate and overseas.
The event won best event of the series every year from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 it was inducted into the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame, the first time an individual event has been inducted. In 2008 the Clipsal 500 was attended by 291,400 people, the largest crowd for a domestic motorsport event in Australia.
- The winner of the Sunday race is regarded as the Clipsal 500 winner, regardless of total points scored over the weekend. The 2000 event saw an exception to this rule, when Garth Tander was credited with the win despite Mark Skaife winning the Sunday race.
- In all but three events, the Sunday race winner was also the highest points scorer for the weekend (Todd Kelly scored the most points in 2007 while Craig Lowndes scored the most points in 2013 and 2014).
|4||Jamie Whincup||2006, 2008, 2009, 2011|
|2||Mark Skaife||2002, 2003|
|Marcos Ambrose||2004, 2005|
|Garth Tander||2000, 2010|
|James Courtney||2014, 2015|
|7||Holden Racing Team|
|3||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2||Stone Brothers Racing|
- 1999: Sensational Adelaide 500
- 2000–16: Clipsal 500 Adelaide
- Parliament of South Australia – House of Assembly Hansard, 4 November 1998
- "Legendry Lowndes Blitzes Adelaide 500". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007.
- Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best major festival or event for third time
- South Australia – Clipsal 500 Adelaide
- Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best festival or event