South Australia is known for having some of the best kept tourism secrets in the world and the Adelaide Motorsport Festival is no exception.
Even if motorsport does not excite you, it is well worth viewing the award winning promotional videos from the last two years.
The festival has once again seen the Fleurieu Peninsula feature quite heavily.
The Peak Hour of Power, is the official opening to the festival showcases historic Formula One, LeMans and other high powered exotic vehicles parade through the city of Adelaide.
The parade concluded at Gouger street where the cars are put on display for a closed street party. Behind the wheel of each of these unique cars was also a high profile driver, including Tim Slade, BJR Racing Australian Supercar Driver, is a man who calls himself a local on the Fleurieu, having grown up in Willunga. Tim shared the stage with “racing royalty” including Ivan Capelli, Craig Lowndes, Alan Moffat, Jim Richards, Alistair McCrea, David Brabham and Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall.
Over the two days of the weekend these superstars of motorsport and many others tested their skills around the shortened Victoria Park street circuit, including a race between a Formula One car and Matt Hall in the airplane he races in Red Bull Air Race
Tim Slade went into the weekend as the lap record holder for the circuit, a title he took from former Formula One driver Ivan Capella in 2017. Sadly for Slade, Capella who drove at the first Adelaide Grand Prix in 1985 was determined to reclaim his record and was successful during the Sunday morning session behind the Leyton House Formula One car he made so famous in the late 1980’s.
An event run in conjunction with the festival is the Shannons Adelaide Rally which began on the Wednesday and allowed competitors to race on the closed roads of the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, The Bend Motorsport Park and concluded on Saturday evening with one last hot lap around the motorsport festival track.
After a tough four days of competition and some wild, windy weather, Victor Harbor local, Ben Calder blew away some very formidable competitors earning the top spot on the podium in the modern category.
With skill, car management and speed, Calder and navigator Steve Glenney negotiated their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution through the 132 kilometers of special stages with greater speed and precision than all other teams.
A victory of this calibre is very hard fought and Ben enjoyed the spoils of victory on the podium by performing a “Shoey”. This celebration was made famous by Australia’s current Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo and involves drinking champagne from the special race shoes drivers wear.
A slightly disgusting, but deserved way of enjoying a race win, even more so a deserved race win for Calder and his team in what is quickly becoming a prestigious event in the Australian motorsport calendar.
This weekend Sunday, December 9 the Willunga Hill Climb is the next motoring event due to take place in the region.
The race starts in Willunga at the bottom of Old Willunga Hill and finishes at the top, on Brookman Road, running a short distance of roughly 2.3 km.
The event is free for spectators and begins at 9:30 am and runs until 6 pm that night.
Numbers in excess of six-hundred are expected to attend the annual motoring event which is entering its sixth year.