Adelaide 500

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South Australia Adelaide 500
Adelaide 500 logo.jpg
Adelaide (short route).svg
Race Information
Venue Adelaide Street Circuit
Number of times held 19
First held 1999
Race Format
Race 1
Laps 78
Distance 250 km
Race 2
Laps 78
Distance 250 km
Last Event (2017)
Overall Winner
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering
Race Winners
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering

The Adelaide 500 (previously known for sponsorship reasons as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide) is an annual motor racing event for 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 currently consists of two 250 km races. Between 2014 and 2016 the event consisted of two 125 km races on the Saturday and one 250 km race on Sunday. In 2017 the organisers switched back to the original format due to the low popularity of the 125 km races from both fans and drivers.[1]

Although the results of all races count towards the Supercars Championship, the winner of the final race is normally 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 Development Series, Formula Three, V8 Utes, Touring Car Masters and Carrera Cup.


Pit straight during qualifying on Friday 2008.
Turn 9.

The Adelaide Street Circuit was used for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix from 1985 to 1995. 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 Supercars 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.[2] 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, a deal which continued until 2017.[3]

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 thus become the first winner of the Adelaide 500. Lowndes' disqualification from race one was later overturned. The 1999 race was also controversial as the 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 leg, the regulations were changed overnight to allow those cars to start the Sunday race.[4][5]

From 1999 to 2003 the Adelaide 500 was dominated by the Holden teams, with three wins to Mark Skaife and one each to Jason Bright and Garth Tander following Lowndes' inaugural event victory. 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 Supercars, and was also his first event since moving to Triple Eight Race Engineering.[4] 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 Adelaide 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.[6] 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 the Holden Racing Team with a record sixth and seventh event wins, two ahead of Triple Eight with five.

Awards and recognition[edit]

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.[7] 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 Supercars Hall of Fame,[7] the first time an individual event has been inducted. In 2008 the Clipsal 500 was attended by 291,400 people,[8] the largest crowd for a domestic motorsport event in Australia.[7][9]


Jamie Whincup (centre) on the podium after winning the 2008 Clipsal 500 Adelaide
Year Driver Team Car Report
1999 Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Racing Team Holden VT Commodore Report
2000 Australia Garth Tander Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden VT Commodore Report
2001 Australia Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore Report
2002 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore Report
2003 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VY Commodore Report
2004 Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon Report
2005 Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon Report
2006 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BA Falcon Report
2007 Australia Rick Kelly HSV Dealer Team Holden VE Commodore Report
2008 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BF Falcon Report
2009 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford FG Falcon Report
2010 Australia Garth Tander Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Report
2011 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Report
2012 Australia Will Davison Ford Performance Racing Ford FG Falcon Report
2013 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Autosports Holden VF Commodore Report
2014 Australia James Courtney Holden Racing Team Holden VF Commodore Report
2015 Australia James Courtney Holden Racing Team Holden VF Commodore Report
2016 Australia Nick Percat Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden VF Commodore Report
2017 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore Report


  • 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 four events, the Sunday race winner was also the highest points scorer for the weekend (Todd Kelly scored the most points in 2007; Craig Lowndes scored the most points in 2013 and 2014; and Michael Caruso scored the most points in 2016).

Multiple winners[edit]

By driver[edit]

Wins Driver Years
4 Australia Jamie Whincup 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011
2 Australia Mark Skaife 2002, 2003
Australia Marcos Ambrose 2004, 2005
Australia Garth Tander 2000, 2010
Australia James Courtney 2014, 2015
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 2013, 2017

By team[edit]

Wins Team
7 Holden Racing Team
5 Triple Eight Race Engineering
2 Stone Brothers Racing

By manufacturer[edit]

Wins Manufacturer
13 Holden
6 Ford

Event names[edit]

  • 1999: Sensational Adelaide 500
  • 2000–17: Clipsal 500 Adelaide

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (8 October 2016). "Format change for Clipsal 500 Adelaide". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Parliament of South Australia – House of Assembly Hansard, 4 November 1998[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Clipsal to drop Adelaide 500 event sponsorship". Speedcafe. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4. 
  5. ^ "Legendry Lowndes Blitzes Adelaide 500". Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "V8 Supercars announces 2012 calendar". Speedcafe. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best major festival or event for third time Archived 4 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ South Australia – Clipsal 500 Adelaide Archived 2 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Clipsal 500 Adelaide named as nation's best festival or event Archived 27 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°55′50″S 138°37′14″E / 34.93056°S 138.62056°E / -34.93056; 138.62056