Adelaide Street Circuit
Layout used by Supercars since 1999
|Location||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Time zone||UTC+9.5 (UTC+10.5 DST)|
|Owner||Adelaide City Council|
|Opened||31 October 1985
Re-opened in 1999
|Major events||Australian Grand Prix
Race of a Thousand Years
|Grand Prix circuit|
|Length||3.780 km (2.349 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:15.381 ( Damon Hill, Williams FW15C Renault, 1993, Formula One)|
|Length||3.219 km (2.012 mi)|
|Race lap record||1:17.9726 ( Simon Hodge, Mygale M11 Mercedes-Benz, 2014, Australian Formula 3)|
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 Supercars race, the Adelaide 500, (2 x 250 km race) on a shorter, 3.219 km (2.012 mi) variant of the track. Both the Grand Prix and Supercars versions race clockwise around the circuit. During Adelaide's era hosting the Australian Grand Prix, the circuit also hosted annual non-championship races for the Australian Touring Car Championship, the previous incarnation of Supercars.
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 teammate 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 pioneers 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 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 teammate 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 2017, 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 teammate 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 and 1976 World Champion 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 teammate Michele Alboreto 2nd place and Ferrari's first 1–2 since the 1985 Canadian Grand Prix. Thierry Boutsen finished 3rd in his Benetton-Ford in the last race for the Ford V6 turbo as the company had decided to build an all new V8 engine in readiness for the new naturally aspirated formula to be introduced in 1989.
- 1988: In a season almost totally dominated by the McLaren-Hondas of 1988 World Champion Ayrton Senna and his teammate 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 teammate 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 teammate 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 teammate 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 (1988–92), 4 World Drivers' Championships, 4 Constructors Championships (1988–91) 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 teammate Damon Hill, the son of twice (1962 and 1968) World Champion Graham Hill (who also won the non-championship 1966 AGP), finished 3rd.
- 1994: In 1994 the 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 0–2 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 which also won Williams their 3rd straight Constructors' Championship and their 7th overall (Mansell had driven for the team in 5 of their Constructors' title wins). He went on to score his 31st and last F1 win from the Ferrari of former Ferrari teammate of 1989 Gerhard Berger, and Martin Brundle in the McLaren-Peugeot.
- 1995: McLaren-Mercedes driver Mika Häkkinen suffered a tyre failure during the first qualifying session on Friday 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. The Finnish driver was then transported to the Royal Adelaide Hospital conveniently located less than 1 km from the point of the circuit where he crashed. He would spend a month recovering in the hospital. 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 (1966) join Stan (1959) and Alan Jones (1980) as the only father-son combinations to win the Australian Grand Prix (they would later be joined by Keke and Nico Rosberg who won in 1985 and 2014 respectively). 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.
Turns 7 and 8
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 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 full Grand Prix circuit bypasses the turn onto Bartels Road and continues with a sweeping left-right-right into Stag Turn (turn 9). This leads onto the 360 metre long Jones Straight, known as Rundle Road for the rest of the year and named after Australia's 1980 World Champion Alain Jones. Then there is a fast right-hand sweeper (known as Brewery Bend) onto the 900 metre long Brabham Straight (named for Jack Brabham), on Dequetteville Terrace where the over 1,000 bhp (746 kW; 1,014 PS) Formula One cars in the turbo era (1985–88) were reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h) making Adelaide easily the fastest street circuit of the time as the only others were the much tighter Monaco, Detroit and Phoenix circuits. The short form of the track rejoins Brabham Straight ⅔ of the way down, so the 640 metre long Bartels Road straight is longest on that layout. In 2007 this section of track was renamed Brock Straight after touring car driver Peter Brock. 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. The elevation ranges from 36 to 53 metres.
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. Some of the artists who have performed the concerts either at the Grand Prix or the Clipsal 500 include Cher, Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Daryl Braithwaite, INXS and Kiss. During her concert following the 1993 AGP, Tina Turner had an impromptu visitor in the form of the race winner and triple World Champion Ayrton Senna. Although she had already performed the song earlier, as a tribute to Senna, Turner again sung her hit song "The Best".
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 identities 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.
Grand Prix circuit
As of 8 March 2017. The fastest ever recorded lap of the original 3.780 km (2.349 mi) Grand Prix Circuit was 1:13.371 by triple World Champion Ayrton Senna driving a McLaren MP4/8 Ford during qualifying for the 1993 Australian Grand Prix. However, as this was in qualifying and not a race, it does not count as the lap record.
|Outright||Damon Hill||Williams FW15C Renault||1:15.381||7 November 1993|
|Formula 1||Damon Hill||Williams FW15C Renault||1:15.381||7 November 1993|
|Formula Brabham||Paul Stokell||Reynard 91D Holden||1:29.97||12 November 1995|
|Formula Mondial|| Ross Cheever
|Ralt RT4 Ford
Ralt RT4 Ford
|1:33.20||2 November 1985
25 October 1986
|Formula 2||David Brabham||Ralt RT30 Volkswagen||1:35.90||11 November 1995|
|Formula Ford||Jason Bright||Van Diemen RF95||1:42.02||11 November 1995|
|250cc Superkart||Stefan Rindstrom||1:37.99||4 November 1989|
|Le Mans Prototype||Allan McNish||Audi R8||1:25.2189||31 December 2000|
|ALMS GTS||Ni Amorim||Chrysler Viper GTS-R||1:35.5296||31 December 2000|
|Sports Sedan||Kerry Baily||Nissan 300ZX Chevrolet||1:36.5959||31 December 2000|
|ALMS GT||Lucas Luhr||Porsche 911 GT3-R||1:36.8501||31 December 2000|
|Group 3A Touring Car||John Bowe||Ford EF Falcon||1:37.72||12 November 1995|
|Group N Touring Cars||Darren Edwards||Ford Mustang||1:53.42||11 November 1995|
|Group 3E Series Production Cars||Kent Youlden||Ford EA Falcon||2:02.14||3 November 1990|
|HQ Holdens||Peter Holmes||Holden HQ Kingswood||2:06.85||11 November 1995|
- Supercars Championship
- Formula One
- American Le Mans Series
- Australian Grand Prix
- Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
- 1991 Formula One telecast of the Australian Grand Prix 1991, BBC. Commentary by Murray Walker.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-24.