Adelaide Street Circuit
|Adelaide Street Circuit|
|Location||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Active from||31 October 1985 - present|
|Major events|| Australian Grand Prix|
|Length||2.349 mi (3.780 km)|
|Lap record||1:15.381 (Damon Hill, Williams Renault FW15C, 1993, F1)|
The Adelaide Street Circuit is a temporary street circuit in the East Parklands adjacent to the central business district of the city of Adelaide in South Australia.
The track has 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 (The Race of a Thousand Years) on the long form (3.78 km) of the track. This was the only race of a nine year contract and the last race to be held on the long form of the circuit.
Since 1999, the track has hosted an annual V8 Supercar race called the Adelaide 500, now know as the Clipsal 500, (2x250km) on a shorter (3.22 km) variant of the track. Cars race clockwise around the circuit. Murray Walker went to the event in 2005 and called it ‘the best touring car event in the world’; he has been back every year since.
Memorable F1 moments
- 1985: Niki Lauda raced his last Grand Prix before retiring in the lead. It was also the last win for Keke Rosberg.
- 1986: Nigel Mansell blew a tyre on Brabham straight, destroying his world title chance. He managed to drive the car to safety and avoid a heavy impact with the wall. Alain Prost won the title after his first victory in Adelaide.
- 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.<ref>1991 Formula One telecast of the Australian Grand Prix 1991, BBC. Commentary by Murray Walker.</ref>
- 1993: Ayrton Senna's last Grand Prix win and the last Grand Prix for Alain Prost.
- 1994: The World Championship was decided in Adelaide for the second time after Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher collided on lap 35. Both drivers were unable to complete the race and Schumacher won the drivers' championship, with Hill finishing in second place.
- 1995: Mika Häkkinen suffered a tyre failure during free practice 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.
The pit straight is inside the Victoria Park horse racing track. The buildings and grandstands are temporary and removed so that spectators can see the whole horse racetrack during the rest of the year. At the end of the straight, drivers negotiate the Senna Chicane and a 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, followed by another right turn onto Bartels Road back across the parklands. Then the track follows the turn 8 sweeper. This corner was reconfiguered in 2009 and it produced some protests from the many of the teams. The long form continues with another left-right-right to Jones Straight (known as Rundle Road for the rest of the year). Then there is a fast right-hand sweeper (known as Brewery Bend) onto the longest straight, Brabham Straight, on Dequetteville Terrace. The short form of the track rejoins halfway down this straight, so the Bartels Road straight is longest on that layout. In 2007 this was re-named Brock Straight. 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.
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.
Adelaide Street Circuit in Video Games
The Adelaide Street Circuit features in a number of video games. It is featured in all three releases of TOCA Race Driver. It is also rendered in Formula 1 97, Grand Prix 1 and 2, with and optional add on track for Grand Prix 3. Additionally, the layout serves as a loose basis for the fictional track Alkeisha Island in Real Racing for iPhone. A conversion track from TOCA Race Driver 2 is available for Grand Prix 4, with the old circuit also being released in beta form. This circuit is also available for rFactor (long and short layouts), GTR2 and RACE 07.