Your ultimate guide to the Superloop Adelaide 500
The Supercars battle returns to the traditional Holden v Ford rivalry in season 2020 – just as the former gets ready to pull up stumps.
Uncertainty will reign during the Superloop Adelaide 500 about what cars will be racing at the event next year, but they will not be badged as a Holden, after the car maker’s decision just this week to retire the brand in Australia.
Fans will be sure, however, that this weekend will stay jam-packed with high-octane racing that has made the Adelaide street circuit event the most popular and eagerly anticipated event on the Supercars calendar.
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Nissan does not feature on the grid this year, returning the field to the classic competition between the Red Lion and Blue Oval, and Holden Commodores (16) still will outnumber Ford Mustangs (8) two to one on the grid.
Six drivers have switched teams while four young rookies have joined the elite field which is sure to spice up the two 250km races over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the fan-favourite Stadium Super Trucks return as one of the support categories to provide extra on-track highlights.
#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing – Bryce Fullwood
#3 Team CoolDrive – Macauley Jones
#4 SCT Logistics – Jack Smith
#5 Truck Assist Racing – Lee Holdsworth
#6 Monster Energy Racing – Cameron Waters
#7 NED Racing – Andre Heimgartner
#8 Brad Jones Racing – Nick Percat
#9 Penrite Racing – David Reynolds
#12 Shell V-Power Racing – Fabian Coulthard
#14 Plus Fitness Racing – Todd Hazelwood
#15 Castrol Racing – Rick Kelly
#17 Shell V-Power Racing – Scott McLaughlin
#18 IRWIN Racing – Mark Winterbottom
#19 Team Sydney – James Courtney
#20 DEWALT Racing – Scott Pye
#22 Team Sydney – Chris Pither
#23 Milwaukee Racing – Will Davison
#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Racing – Chaz Mostert
#34 UNIT Racing – Zane Goddard
#35 Yellow Cover Racing – Garry Jacobson
#55 Supercheap Auto Racing – Jack Le Brocq
#88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team – Jamie Whincup
#97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team – Shane van Gisbergen
#99 Penrite Racing – Anton De Pasquale
Thursday February 20
9 Gates Open
9.10 Stadium Super Trucks exhibition laps
9:30 Trans Am Series practice 1
10:05 Touring Car Masters practice 1
10:35 Army demonstrations
10:55 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia practice 1
11:30 Stadium Super Trucks practice 1
12:05 Trans Am Series practice 2
12:35 Formula 1 demonstration
12:55 Dunlop Super2 Series practice 1
13:55 Touring Car Masters qualifying
14:30 Stadium Super Trucks practice 2
15:05 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia practice 2
15:35 Historic Brabham F1 demonstration
15:55 Supercars Championship practice 1
16:55 Dunlop Super2 Series practice 2
17.50 Supercars hot laps
Friday February 21
9 Gates Open
9:45 Trans Am Series qualifying
10:10 Army demonstrations
10.40 Stadium Super Trucks exhibition laps
11:10 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia qualifying
11:45 Touring Car Masters trophy race
12:20 Dunlop Super2 Series qualifying
12:55 Stadium Super Trucks qualifying
13:30 Trans Am Series race 1
14:05 Supercars Championship practice 2
14:45 Formula 1 demonstration
15:05 Touring Car Masters race 1
15:40 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race 1
16:15 Historic Brabham F1 demonstration
16:40 Dunlop Super2 Series race 1
17:25 Stadium Super Trucks race 1
18:00 Supercars Championship practice 3
The high-flying Stadium Super Trucks at their last Adelaide 500 appearance. Picture: DYLAN COKERSource:News Corp Australia
Saturday February 22
9 Gates Open
9:55 Stadium Super Trucks race 2
10:30 Trans Am Series race 2
11:00 Army demonstrations
11:20 Touring Car Masters race 2
11:55 Supercars Championship race 1 qualifying
12:30 Supercars Championship race 1 top ten shootout
13:10 Historic Brabham F1 demonstration
13:30 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race 2
14:05 Dunlop Super2 Series race 2
14:45 Formula 1 demonstration
15:10 Stadium Super Trucks race 3
15:40 Heroes Walk
16:20 Supercars Championship race 1
Sunday February 23
9 Gates Open
9:30 Trans Am Series race 3
10 Supercar Drivers’ Parade
10.20 Army demonstrations
10:35 Touring Car Masters race 3
11:10 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race 3
11:50 Supercars Championship race 2 qualifying
12.25 Supercars Championship top ten shootout race 2
13:00 Formula 1 demonstration
13:25 Dunlop Super2 Series race 3
14:10 Stadium Super Trucks race 4
15:20 Supercars Championship race 2
Thursday: Partly cloudy. Max 25, min 13
Friday: Partly cloudy. Max 24, min 13
Saturday: Sunny. Max 27, min 13.
Sunday: Mostly sunny. Max 32, min 17.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Jamie Whincup has won the most Adelaide 500 titles, with four. He also has the most race wins (10) and equal top number of poles (7) with Red Bull Holden Racing Team teammate Shane van Gisbergen.
* Seven former Adelaide 500 winners will line up on the grid this year: Jamie Whincup, James Courtney, Shane van Gisbergen, Rick Kelly, Will Davison, Nick Percat and Scott McLaughlin.
* The Sunday race in 2019 was the only time in the event’s 21-year history that all cars that have started a race in Adelaide have finished it.
* Walkinshaw Andretti United has had the most number of Adelaide 500 titles by team, with 7, all of which obtained under its former team name, Holden Racing Team.
* Holden has dominated the Adelaide 500, winning 14 titles compared to Ford’s 7, 29 race wins compared to 15, 56 podiums compared to 32, and 24 pole positions compared to 10.
* More than 200,000 spectators have attended across the four days each year since 2003. In 2019, 254,000 people attended, including a maximum of 91,500 on the Sunday.
* The fastest lap by a Supercar in a race was 1:20.4210 by Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Falcon FG X) on lap 10 on Sunday March 5 2017.
* The fastest lap by a Supercar in qualifying was 1:19.2951 by Shane van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VF) on Sunday March 5 2017.
* The fastest lap around the Adelaide street circuit was 1:17:9726 set by Simon Hodge (Team BRM Mygale M11-Mercedes on March 1, 2014.
Great Scott goes bang bang
Supercars: Scott McLaughlin made it back-to-back victories for the new Ford Mustang Supercar, taking out the second leg of the Superloop Adelaide 500.
Tickets can be bought at the track at Gates 1, 6 and 10.
Pre-purchased adult tickets for all four days start from $200. Single-day adult tickets start from $45 Thursday, $80 Friday, and $90 Saturday and $100 Sunday.
Children aged 14 years and under are free in general admission when they are with a fee-paying adult.
Follow the live blog at theadvertiser.com.au
Kayo Sports has every practice, qualifying session and race of the Supercars Championship live, including all the Superloop Adelaide 500 action.
Live TV coverage will be on Fox Sports on all four days of the event.
Live coverage on free-to-air will be on 10 Bold from 2pm on Friday, then Channel 10 and 10HD from 12pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday.
Scott McLaughlin wins the Superloop Adelaide 500 in 2019. Picture: MARK HORSBURGHSource:Supplied
Scott McLaughlin $2.75
Shane van Gisbergen $3.50
Jamie Whincup $4.50
David Reynolds $10
Cameron Waters $15
Fabian Coulthard $15
Chaz Mostert $19
Anton De Pasquale $34
Will Davison $51
Mark Winterbottom $67
The Superloop Adelaide 500 track has a reputation for rewarding the brave and punishing mistakes.
The 3.2km street circuit, a shortened version of the ex-Formula One Grand Prix track, combines top speeds of 250km/h with 14 turns, high kerbs and bruising concrete walls.
It is the longest time the drivers will stay in the car all season, along with the Newcastle 500 in November, unless drivers do a triple-stint in the Bathurst 1000.
So being the first event of the year makes it extra gruelling for drivers and machines alike.
Scott McLaughlin demonstrated how the beast can be tamed, clocking 1 min 20.42 sec in 2017 to set a new V8 race lap record, and completing the clean sweep by winning both races in 2019.
As the cream of Australian motorsport prepares to return to SA for the opening round of the campaign, we take a detailed look at the eastern parklands circuit.
The cars blast off the start grid inside Victoria Park and roar to life up the 500m-long pit straight, flanked by grandstands.
The opening section of the track offers reasonable grip for drivers as they vie for a strong start on a circuit regarded as the most physically demanding of the Supercars season.
Supercars roar towards turn 1 at the start of race 1 at the Superloop Adelaide 500 2019. Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin vie for first position. Picture: AAP/BRENTON EDWARDSSource:News Corp Australia
SENNA CHICANE (TURNS 1, 2)
The field meets its first real test on a chicane named after late Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna.
Expect plenty of carnage here, such as when Jason Bright flipped his Holden and smashed into the wall following a messy restart in 2014.
On a flying lap, drivers will be pushing 220km/h in fifth gear, before encountering this technical combination of turns – most likely getting airborne as they bounce over the kerbs.
Drivers aim to scrub off as little speed as possible through this flat-out kink to the left, where precise steering is the key after emerging unscathed from the chicane.
Cars set up correctly for the track and race conditions will be in fifth gear after exiting the turn as they hit up to 210km/h along Wakefield St.
Considered one of the hardest places on the circuit to pull the car up, this 90-degree right-hander features an uphill braking zone and a bumpy surface.
Drivers are looking into the sun during afternoon races as they shift back to second gear and tiptoe around a corner with little run-off and a daunting bank of crash tyres.
TURNS 5, 6, 7
Most drivers will hold second gear through this trio of similar right-angled turns that the drivers dub “The Staircase” and avoid shifting gears to keep two hands on the steering wheel for control.
On a good lap, cars will hit the rev limiter on each short straight before braking for the corners.
Regarded as an important part of the track where crucial seconds can be lost or gained.
Cars will reach up to 250km/h on the fastest section of the circuit along Pirie St.
A clean exit out of turn seven is essential to carry maximum drive into the straight as cars hit sixth gear.
Despite the high speeds, drivers consider it a chance to catch their breath following a tense first section of the track.
The infamous scene of the Adelaide 500’s biggest crashes, highlighted by Chris Pither’s horror shunt in 2016 and Michael Caruso’s heavy hit on the wall a year earlier.
Even seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup came unstuck at this turn during qualifying in 2018.
Most of the accidents have occurred when cars have clipped the inside barrier and fired themselves across the track, so drivers will avoid that line when possible.
As a general rule, this a no-passing zone as they apply a short stab on the brakes about 100m out from the treacherous right-hand turn and get back on the throttle.
Whincup crashes hard at T8
Supercars: Jamie Whincup crashed heavily right at the end of Qualifying for Race 1 at the Adelaide 500.
Having negotiated the most dangerous part of the circuit, cars will reach up to 235km/h on this short, fast straight named after Australian motorsport legend Jack Brabham.
It is another brief chance for drivers to take a breath before a demanding, technical section.
The heaviest braking zone and the slowest point on the track provides a tough test for competitors, but is a prime spot to pull off an overtaking move.
Drivers will fight with their machines as they pull them back from more than 200km/h to 50km/h for this first or second-gear hairpin corner.
The scene of Jamie Whincup’s famous last-lap pass on Will Davidson in 2012, when Davidson ran out of fuel and allowed Whincup to race to victory.
TURNS 10, 11
A challenging combination of a brief acceleration and left kink, before a hard left.
Most drivers will get into third gear, then hit the brakes for turn 11, all the while being mindful of the wall on the exit corner which has claimed its share of victims over the years.
Cars often get airborne as they bounce across the kerb on the inside of this turn, making it a favourite spot for both spectators and photographers.
TURNS 12, 13
A popular section with drivers who will hold the accelerator open through the sweeping left-hander and hit up to 190km/h in fifth gear approaching a flat right turn.
Most machines will clip the kerb as they settle heading into the last corner on the track, making each car’s suspension tuning pivotal.
Jason Bright crashes his commodore at the 2014 Adelaide 500. Picture: SARAH REEDSource:News Corp Australia
Almost as slow as turn nine, this hairpin will have drivers battling to pull their machines up while they fight to steer the front end though the apex.
Low speeds are a must at the corner to set competitors up for the long start straight ahead, where they will again top 200km/h.
Effective use of the pit lane is another important factor as races have been won and lost during refuelling and tyre changes throughout the event’s history.
1999: The first Supercars event is held in Adelaide — then named the Sensational Adelaide 500 — with the track length being reduced by 700m from the Formula 1 days.
2003: The Adelaide events is extended from three days to four days for the first time as interests grows.
2009: $20 million in circuit upgrades are spent.
2011: Jamie Whincup wins a record fourth Clipsal 500.
2013: New regulations open up the Adelaide event to other manufacturers, not just Fords and Holdens.
2014: The event abandons the traditional format to hold three races over three days (two 125km races and one 250km race).
2017: The Clipsal 500 reverts back to the original format of two 250km races over two days.
2019: Internet company Superloop signs up as naming rights sponsor.
OTHER ENTERTAINMENT AND ATTRACTIONS
Hilltop Hoods return to the Adelaide 500, after last appearing at the event in 2017. Picture: CALUM ROBERTSONSource:News Corp Australia
Local group Hilltop Hoods headline Sunday night’s post-race concert, returning to perform at the event for the first time since 2017.
Joining them will be Illy and G Flip.
Pete Murray and Sheppard will hit the stage on the Saturday night, while Sneaky Sound System and The Superjesus will support Grinspoon on the Friday night.
Performers representing Music SA Bands on Track will kick off the musical festivities on all three nights.
TRACKS OF THE WORLD
Special displays showcasing seven of the world’s favourite motor racing circuits – Monaco, Le Mans, Indianapolis, Nürburgring, Suzuka, Silverstone and, of course, Adelaide – will be among the off-track exhibitions.
This year, the displays will be located on both the eastern, western and northern sides of pit straight.
They will feature 53 food outlets and 26 bars.
At Monaco, racegoers can sip Moet Champagne while admiring Ferraris and Ducati motorcycles, while at Silverstone, sip Pimms while enjoying European music and enjoying the view of Brabham cars.
MOTO X STEP UP
The adrenaline-filled Moto X Step Up competition will return after a popular debut in 2019 and sees motorcycle-riding competitors jump a bar more than 16 metres high.
The Superloop Adelaide 500 is the only place outside of the USA to feature the competition.
Similar to high jump, Moto X Step Up will see the bar increase in height to secure eliminations. If a rider is unsuccessful in their two attempts they are eliminated. The winner is declared when one rider remains.
A competitor tries to ride over the bar in the Moto X Step-Up at the Superloop Adelaide 500 in 2019. Picture: AAP/BRENTON EDWARDSSource:News Corp Australia
Formula 1 cars of yesteryear on the old track will go for a spin at selected times during the weekend, and recognise the Adelaide street circuit’s origins in motor racing.
Meanwhile, the Brabham F1 historic demonstration will have separate time on track between category racing.
AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE DISPLAYS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
Project Digger returns to the traditional Australian Defence Force display, as well as feature on track during the four-day event.
This year, Project Matilda will feature alongside in its Adelaide debut.
Located on the south side of Wakefield Rd near Turn 10, the display features vehicles that are driven and maintained by currently serving men and women.
Project Digger is a 1978 Ford LTD with a supercharged V8 Ford 460 big block (bored out to 547ci), capable of 725 horsepower and 1200 of torque.
Project Matilda is a Mercedes G-Wagon 6×6 (current in-service vehicle) powered by a Detroit Diesel 2-Stroke 6V53, supercharged (adapted from the in-service ASLAV Light Armoured Vehicle) with gull-wing doors, a fully customised body, adjustable airbags, shortened chassis and multimedia hardware.
The inclusion of a large capacity diesel engine in Matilda is a departure from the high-performance petrol environment of Armygeddon and Project Digger, but provides a realistic connection to the high-performance diesel environment of the new generation vehicle fleets that are being introduced into Army.
Supercar drivers Nick Percat and Todd Hazelwood with kids Ruby (8) and Tom (12) on The Big Wedgie, which will be located in the Family Zone at the Superloop Adelaide 500 this year. Picture: AAP/SAM WUNDKESource:News Corp Australia
CITY OF ADELAIDE FAMILY ZONE
The City of Adelaide Family Zone this year will be located on CBC Oval, north of Wakefield St, largely in part to one large waterslide that will be the main attraction over the four days of the event.
The world’s tallest inflatable waterslide, the Big Wedgie, will provide a cool escape for children aged 7 and over.
The Just Right Wedgie, for children aged 4-7, will ensure youngsters do not miss out on the aquatic fun.
Racing simulators, representatives from various sports in SA, face painting, a Karting SA information stall and display, and minibikes also are featured.
All activities are offered at no extra charge and the family zone is open between 9.30am and 5pm.
Originally published asYour ultimate guide to the Superloop Adelaide 500
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