35-09 Motor racing in Victoria Park

Motor racing in Victoria Park has been perhaps the most controversial activity in any part of the Adelaide Park Lands.

Motor racing came to Victoria Park in 1985 and annual events were held in most years up until 2019.

Despite the popularity of motor sport at Victoria Park, there were also many people who questioned the disruption and alienation caused by these events, and the legitimacy of their use of the Park Lands.

The idea to attract a round of the international Formula One Grand Prix to Adelaide was first conceived in 1983.

Early designs of a proposed street circuit did not include the Park Lands, but Victoria Park was added to the proposal in order to better ‘sell’ Adelaide to the television cameras.

Despite concerns raised over disruption to residents and the environment, engine noise, traffic disruption and the ever-lingering possibility of additional permanent buildings in the Park Lands, State Parliament passed the SA Motor Sports Act in 1984, allowing construction of a permanent track.

The Adelaide Grand Prix was a very popular event, three times winning the Formula One Race Promoters' Trophy as the best run Formula One Grand Prix of the season.

As it was the last race of the annual Formula One season, Adelaide twice saw the Formula One World Drivers Championship decided on its circuit.

In 1996, the Australian Formula One Grand Prix moved to Melbourne.

Then, for 21 years, from 1999 to 2019, the Adelaide street circuit hosted one annual round of the Australian V8 Supercars championship, each March.

While the championship race and related events were restricted to four days, construction and deconstruction of temporary buildings including grandstands, pit lane, and corporate boxes took about five months: from December to May.

After the event was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, with the event's popularity waning, and an alternative track established at Tailem Bend, the State Government decided not to renew sponsorship of motor racing in Victoria Park.

In 2020 the former motor racing track was transformed by marquees into a testing station for COVID-19

From this point, walk eastwards towards the old stone grandstand and stop at a large, white-painted planter bowl.



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