27/02/18 South Australian Supercars rookie Todd Hazelwood unveils the New Adelaide 500 Trophy in pit straight. picture CALUM ROBERTSON
27/02/18 South Australian Supercars rookie Todd Hazelwood unveils the New Adelaide 500 Trophy in pit straight. picture CALUM ROBERTSON

Adelaide 500 set to answer host of Supercars unknowns

AS the Adelaide 500 prepares to celebrate its 20th year, the annual Supercars event is set to answer a wealth of unknowns.

Here's what you need to know ahead of the season opener.

SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND

THURSDAY March 1

10:00 10:35 Dunlop Super 2 Series Practice 1

15:50 16:15 Dunlop Super 2 Series Practice 2

FRIDAY MARCH 2

9:45 10:25 Supercars Practice 1

11:50 12:30 Supercars Practice 2

13:20 13:40 Dunlop Series Qualifying 1

14:25 Supercars Driver Photo

15:50 16:10 Supercars Qualifying - Race 1

16:25 16:55 Dunlop Series Race 1

SATURDAY MARCH 3

9:50 10:10 Supercars Practice 3

10:25 10:55 Dunlop Series Race 2

11:55 12:25 Supercars Top Ten Shootout

15:20 17:20 Adelaide 500 Race 1 - 250kms

SUNDAY MARCH 4

9:40 10:00 Supercars Qualifying Race 2

11:40 12:10 Supercars Top Ten Shootout

15:20 17:20 Adelaide 500 Race 2 - 250kms

TV INFO

Fox Sports will broadcast every practice, qualifying session and race in this year's Supercars Championship live, ad-break free and in HD (including Bathurst).

Channel 10 will broadcast live from the track from midday Friday and 11.30am on Saturday and Sunday

Craig Lowndes and Cara Jenkins before the Adelaide 500. Picture: Supplied
Craig Lowndes and Cara Jenkins before the Adelaide 500. Picture: Supplied

 

STATS TO KNOW (courtesy of Supercars)

 

* This weekend is the 20th running of the Adelaide 500, which was first held in 1999, and the 15th time the event has hosted the first round of the championship. Since then a total of 40 Supercar races have been held there with Jamie Whincup the most winning driver in the event's history with four overall Adelaide 500 event victories, 10 individual race wins and seven pole positions.

* Red Bull Holden Racing Team reaches a significant milestone in the team's history in Adelaide, competing in its 200th Supercars Championship round with its 450th race coming up on the Sunday of the season-opener. The team debuted at the Sandown 500 in September 2003 and has won 170 championship races.

* Another team to reach a milestone in Adelaide will be TEKNO Autosports, competing in its 100th Supercars Championship round. The team, which will field rookie Jack Le Brocq this season, made its debut as a stand-alone organisation in Abu Dhabi in 2011. It has won 11 races in its time in the Supercars Championship, the most recent at Bathurst in 2016.

* Holden has been the dominant force at the Adelaide 500 in recent years. Commodore drivers are undefeated since the New Generation cars were introduced in 2013 - a total of 13 race wins in a row have been shared between Triple Eight, Walkinshaw Racing, Brad Jones Racing, TEKNO Autosports and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

* Half of the field of 26 will have brand new race cars in Adelaide. A total of 13 new chassis will make their racing debut in the season opener with three from Triple Eight, two for Brad Jones Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport and singles for Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing, Tickford Racing, Erebus Motorsport, DJR Team Penske, TEKNO Autosports and Nissan Motorsport.

* History shows that the Adelaide street track is always tough. No Adelaide 500 race has ever produced a 100 per cent finishing rate, though it came close in 2010 when 27 of 28 starters finished the Sunday race. Only five of the 40 races run there have been held without the appearance of the Safety Car.

* There are five Adelaide 500 rookies in the 2018 field, all embarking on their first seasons as full-time Supercars Championship drivers: Jack Le Brocq, James Golding, Todd Hazelwood, Richie Stanaway and Anton de Pasquale. All bar Stanaway have competed in Super 2 cars in Adelaide.

* There are eight former Adelaide 500 winners in the 2018 field - Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander, James Courtney, Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes, Rick Kelly, Will Davison and Nick Percat. A ninth driver - Fabian Coulthard - has won a race in Adelaide though not yet won the event overall.

* Only two drivers - Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes - have competed in every Adelaide 500 since the event began in 1999. Lowndes is the only driver to have competed in all 40 races in that time given Tander missed the Sunday race in 2004 due to a crash in the morning warm-up session.

27/02/18 South Australian Supercars rookie Todd Hazelwood unveils the New Adelaide 500 Trophy in pit straight. picture CALUM ROBERTSON
27/02/18 South Australian Supercars rookie Todd Hazelwood unveils the New Adelaide 500 Trophy in pit straight. picture CALUM ROBERTSON

 

WHY THE NAME

IT is known as "the 500" to reflect the kilometres travelled but as it celebrates 20 years of action, organisers have revealed the motorsport event has broken the $500 million mark in dollars earned for the local economy.

From modest beginnings in 1998 - earning $13 million for the state in the first year - last year's event banked $39.5 million, the South Australian Tourism Commission says.

"The Adelaide 500 has become Australia's largest domestic motorsport event, providing an accumulated $545.8 million in economic benefit to the state, creating over 400 full-time equivalent jobs per year, and filling Adelaide's hotels, motels and caravan parks with interstate and overseas visitors,'' race general manager Nathan Cayzer said.

 

THE BEST MOMENTS

AS the Adelaide 500 this week celebrates its 20th year, South Australia's annual Supercars event has proved to be one of the toughest tests on the calendar.

The high-speed run on bumpy city streets between the ex-Formula 1 circuit's unforgiving concrete barriers - combined with Adelaide's usually scorching end-of-summer heat - punishes both drivers and cars for 500 long kilometres across the weekend.

The event has also rapidly became one of the most prestigious among competitors and fans, each year playing out to huge crowds.

The triumphs, disappointments and crashes come thick and fast, making each race unmissable action.

FULL LIST HERE


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