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 17
First held 1999
Race Format
Race 1
Laps 39
Distance 125 km
Race 2
Laps 39
Distance 125 km
Race 3
Laps 78
Distance 250 km
Last Event (2015)
Overall Winner
Australia James Courtney Holden Racing Team
Race Winners
Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering
New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing
Australia James Courtney Holden Racing Team

The Adelaide 500 (known for sponsorship reasons as the Clipsal 500 Adelaide or Clipsal 500) is an annual motor racing event for V8 Supercars, held on the streets of the east end of Adelaide, South Australia on 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, 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.

In 2008 the Clipsal 500 was attended by 291,400 people,[1] the largest crowd for a domestic motorsport event in Australia.[2][3] The carnival also features a music concert every night, in addition to air displays, amusements, and social events that attract visitors from interstate and overseas.


Pit straight during qualifying on Friday 2008.
Turn 9.

The Adelaide Street Circuit was used for Formula One races from 1985 to 1995. 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 initial contract was for a period of five years with an option for a further five years.[4]

The 1999 event saw Craig Lowndes win the Saturday race, only to be disqualified due to his involvement in an accident 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. Lowndes' disqualification from race one was later overturned.[5]

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.

From 2000 to 2003 the Adelaide 500 was dominated by Holden teams, with three wins to Mark Skaife and one to Jason Bright. It wasn't until 2004 that a Ford driver won the event, with Marcos Ambrose successful that year. Ambrose won again in 2005 and Jamie Whincup was the winner in 2006. In 2007, Rick Kelly won the Adelaide 500. And in 2008 the winner was Whincup again.

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.[2]

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,[2] the first time an individual event has been inducted.


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

Note: The winner of the Sunday race is regarded as the Clipsal 500 champion, regardless of total points scored over the weekend. 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). The 2000 event saw an exception to this rule, when Garth Tander was credited with the win despite Mark Skaife winning the Sunday race.

Multiple winners[edit]

By Driver[edit]

Event Wins Driver
4 Australia Jamie Whincup
2 Australia Mark Skaife
Australia Marcos Ambrose
Australia Garth Tander
Australia James Courtney

By team[edit]

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

By manufacturer[edit]

Event Wins Manufacturer
11 Holden
6 Ford

Event names[edit]

  • 1999: Sensational Adelaide 500
  • 2000–15: Clipsal 500 Adelaide


External links[edit]

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