A Guide to Adelaide and the Clipsal 500

V8 Supercars Clipsal 500
V8 Supercars Clipsal 500
Summer certainly is the time to be in Adelaide. The city comes alive with events such as the Fringe Festival, the Festival of Arts, the Tour Down Under, world music festvial WOMAD, and much, much more! But during four days in March, the streets of Adelaide are home to the Clipsal 500 as the V8 Supercars Championship roars to life.

Drawing a crowd of over 286,000 in 2015, Adelaide’s iconic 3.2km street circuit is loved by fans. In 2016, the now traditional V8 Supercars season opener will again see Australasia’s finest drivers battle it out over two 125km races on Saturday, and a top-ten shoot out and 250km race on Sunday.

While there are a lot die-hard V8 Supercar fans making the trip for the first round of the year, the Clipsal 500 is also a great event for families and the not-so hardcore fans. Its wide range of on and off-track entertainment, carnival-like atmosphere, and ‘race and rock’ format create an event that caters for everyone, giving fans the best possible live experience and appealing to fresh new audiences.

Across four action-packed and adrenaline-fuelled days, the 2016 Clipsal 500 will showcase over 50 different attractions and feature eight different race categories including the return of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Truck Series, the introduction of one of the world’s most popular extreme sports, EnduroX, the Aussie Racing Cars Championship, the Porsche Carrera Cup, the Australian GT Series, Touring Car Masters, the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series and the Australian V8 Utes. While a huge concert line-up will be headlined by multiple Grammy Award winner, Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas, and Aussie icons Icehouse.

V8 Supercars Clipsal 500
V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Where is the Clipsal 500 held?

The Adelaide Parklands on the eastern edge of the CBD plays host to the Clipsal 500. The circuit is a shortened version of the track setup for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix before the event was moved to Melbourne.

If you are looking on the map, the track utilises Wakefield Rd and Bartels Rd, two of the city’s access roads through the Parklands. The East Terrace, which lines the eastern edge of the Adelaide CBD is the main access road to the track.

Where To Stay?

Adelaide offers plenty in terms of accommodation options. For convenience, I’d recommend staying near the East Terrace, which is a short walk from the track. But accommodation in this area books out quickly for the Clipsal 500.

Alternatively, there are more accommodation options around Victoria Square in the centre of the city. Victoria Square is roughly a 20-minute walk from the track down Wakefield Street.

You’ll find there’s accommodation all around the city to suit every budget, from backpacker hostels to five star hotels. But it’s well worth planning your trip as soon as you can.

Getting To The City From The Airport

There are a few ways to get to the city from the airport, but the cheapest, and in my opinion the easiest, is to catch the public bus. There is a bus service from the airport to either heart of the city or popular beach-side suburb, Glenelg.

If you can’t find the bus there is a tourist information desk inside the airport that will point you in the right direction. For more information and options for getting to and from Adelaide airport visit the Adelaide Airport website.

Getting To and From the Clipsal 500?

The facility doesn’t offer much in the way of parking, so I’d plan on walking to and from the track. If you are staying a bit further away, then have a look at Adelaide’s public transport system, the Adelaide Metro to see what transport options are available.

If you’re game enough to walk to the track in the morning, there are taxis at most of the exit gates after the days’ action to get you home, if you don’t feel like walking back.

Best Viewing Options for Clipsal 500?

If you are willing to splurge then Grandstand tickets from the first chicane are the place to be. It offers a great view of the action and a super screen to watch the rest of the action around the track.

For General Admission ticket holders, the best viewing area is on the outside of Turns 9, 10 and 11. There are great views of the best overtaking opportunity on the track (Turn 9), and easy access to all the merchandise and food stalls. The area also features a couple of super screens to see the rest of the action.

For more information about the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide including maps and where to buy tickets head over to the Clipsal 500 website.

V8 Supercars Clipsal 500
V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

What To Do In The Evenings?

There are plenty of pubs and cafes near the track. On Saturday night, Hutt Street is closed off to traffic to allow the restaurants, pubs and cafes to expand with extra tables spilling onto the street, creating a great street party vibe.

For a quieter night, grabbing food in any restaurants on Gouger Street is a good option. Alternatively, there are a number of pubs around town that are easy enough find offering good old fashioned pub grub.

Spending Time In Adelaide Before or After?

There’s not much point flying in the day of the event and leaving the night it finishes, for two reasons. Firstly, everyone else is trying to do the same thing and the airport is going to be a nightmare. Secondly, Adelaide has a lot to offer – check out this list from our friends over at Got Lost! of top five things to do in Adelaide.

For official information on travel, tours, accommodation, events, attractions, tours and transport in Adelaide and South Australia, take a look at the South Australian Tourism Commission visitor website.

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