We live about 250 metres from Adelaide’s Street Circuit. Each year in late February it comes alive to the sounds of V8 Supercars. For many it’s a time to get out of the city, but for me it’s an added bonus of living in the city.
Adelaide for a short while hosted an F1 Grand Prix which was lost to Melbourne quite controversially in the late 1990s. The loss of the race is something South Australians still regard as “dirty darts”,
even to this day. Anyway we now have the V8s, Australia’s premier racing class. Adelaide kicks off the season.
I enjoy the racing as much for the opportunity to spend a few days with my son as the actual racing itself. Other than my son I don’t usually see anyone else that I know at the race! That isn’t all that surprising as the V8 fraternity is a different group.
Often the term bogan is used to describe my coterie for these few days. Tatts, Jack Daniels, and rats tails is the generic description of the requisite look. That’s harsh but certainly it is a different group. However compared to pretty much any other sport I follow this crowd does know its sport. And that very much adds to the spectacle.
When V8s started it was straight Holden vs Ford but with the demise of the car industry in Australia new makes have entered the fray: Mercedes, Nissan and Volvo. The stands are full of the Red Lion or Blue Oval. So much merchandise as everyone shows their support for their chosen make and team. The newer entrants are yet to really establish their presence in the merchandise stakes.
I can’t deny I am a Ford fan, but as time has gone by my interest has shifted from the make to the team and drivers. I’ve been swept up in the Red Bull phenomenon. The cars look awesome and they have the best drivers in V8s just as they do in F1. The the weekend showed it with two out of three wins and podiums in all races for Red Bull Racing.
The highlight of the weekend was the new kids on the block, Volvo’s second place in the second race. The stands erupted as the Volvowent past the Red Bull Holden. I think even the true blue Holden fans enjoyed the result!
It’s not all about the V8s though. There’s the V8 Ute Series. I have to say I get great pride out of seeing the success of the series as I had some involvement in its restructure some years ago.
There’s also the Carrera Cup and Formula 3s, and Historic Tourers. It’s a great weekend if you’re a petrol head and all just a few metres from my front door!
I should also mention that for the last few years the Clipsal 500 weekend has coincided with our Wedding Anniversary. Given my wife’s complete lack of interest in car racing it requires some juggling.