Race To The City
In September 2017, pedestrians and restaurant diners in Adelaide were stunned when a trio of Formula One cars, an original Holden Dealer Team Torana A9X and a World Superbike Ducati roared through the CBD at 10 o’clock on a Wednesday night.
Driving under police escort, the squadron of high-performance machines were the stars of a short film to promote the Adelaide Motorsport Festival.
That film went viral, reaching more than 2.5 million people around the globe.
This year, we’ve taken the concept to a new level. Filming began in Italy in May, followed by South Australian locations including The Bend Motorsport Park, the Adelaide Hills, Port Adelaide, Islington rail freight terminal and the South Road Superway.
The film clocks in at almost ten minutes, and show some incredible cars and drivers as you’ve never seen them before.
1989 Leyton House March – Ivan Capelli
This is the car that Ivan Capelli raced in the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide in 1989. He didn’t finish that race, but returned to drive the car again at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival in 2016, setting the lap record.
Powered by a Judd V8, the car debuted in Monaco in 1989, with Capelli qualifying 22nd and finishing 11th. Although the car struggled against the bigger teams, it did show promising pace, with Capelli’s teammate Gugelmin setting the fastest lap of the French GP that year.
Ferrari LaFerrari – Tim Slade
One of only 499 built, Ferrari’s hybrid hypercar has a mid-mounted 6.2-litre V12, augmented by a pair of electric motors powered by a kinetic energy recovery system derived from Formula 1. Together the two systems deliver more than 950 horsepower to the rear wheels.
The LaFerrari hits 100kmh in less than three seconds, on its way to a top speed in excess of 350kmh.
Brabham BT62 – David Brabham
Adelaide’s own supercar, the Brabham BT62 first surfaced earlier in the year, but it has not been seen at speed in public. With a naturally aspirated 5.4-litre mid-mounted V8 making 700hp and a kerb weight of just 972kg, the car proved to be extremely quick in filming for Race to the City 2018.
Australian racing legend Sir Jack Brabham was once the world’s most prolific manufacturer of race cars, and the BT62 is the first car to bear the Brabham name since 1992.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo – Alister McRae
This local car will be familiar to Adelaide Rally fans. Its 2.4-litre stroker motor is fed by a Garrett ball-bearing turbo, pushing out more than 400hp at all four wheels.
The Evo was a last-minute recruit to the film after the original vehicle suffered a mechanical failure during filming. Set up for tarmac and still shod with R-spec street tyres, it proved something of a handful in the mud and gravel of the Adelaide Hills.
The car was quite familiar to driver McRae: while the surname is more famously linked to Subaru, Alister spent many years competing in Mitsubishi Evos.
MXS-R Red Bull Race Plane – Matt Hall
This is no ordinary plane – pilot Matt Hall has used it to twice finish second in the Red Bull Air Race World Championships.
The single-seater MXS-R is built for speed, packing 8.9 litres of air-cooled flat six that hauls the sprightly 700kg aircraft to a top speed of more than 420kmh. It can climb at 3,700 feet per minute and roll at the dizzying rate of 420 degrees per second.
The Italian driver won many fans in his years as an F1 driver thanks to his competitive driving and cheerful disposition, traits that won him even more fans when he attended AMF in 2016.
Capelli’s F1 career began in 1986 after success in karts and Formula 3. He performed strongly with March, scoring the team’s first ever World Championship point with sixth at Monaco in 1987. In 1988 Capelli took his first podium, coming third behind Senna and Prost at Spa-Francorchamps, then followed that up with a second place in Portugal and sixth in Adelaide, to finish seventh in the World Championship that year. In Suzuka he became the first non-turbo driver since 1983 to lead a Grand Prix, until Alain Prost’s superior power won the day.
The Italian driver won many fans in his years as an F1 driver thanks to his competitive driving and cheerful disposition, traits that won him even more fans when he attended AMF in 2016. When the owner of Leyton House was arrested in 1990, Capelli voluntarily stood down so the other driver in the team could continue to get paid, then paid his own way into races for the rest of the season to mentor the team.
Capelli went on to drive for Ferrari and Jordan, and now works as an F1 commentator on Italian television.
The youngest son of Australian Formula One legend Sir Jack Brabham, David has forged a highly successful career as a racing driver in his own right. Starting out in karts in 1983, he won the Australian Formula 2 championship in 1987, appearing in a support race at the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide that year.
He made a foray into Formula One in the early 1990s with the underfunded Simtek team and was a teammate of Roland Ratzenberger when he died in a crash during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix. David was praised for his leadership following the tragedy, taking to the track in the race to help team morale.
David went on to great success in sports car racing, winning the American Le Mans series twice, along with three international sports car series. He is one of only four Australians to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, following class wins with Aston Martin in 2007 and 2008 with an outright victory in a Peugeot in 2009.
Alister McRae was born with racing in his blood. His father Jimmy won the British Rally Championship five times and his older brother is the late Colin McRae, who won the World Rally Championship in 1995, the youngest driver ever to do so.
Alister started competing on two wheels when he was just 12, in motocross and trials. Moving to four wheels, he won the British Rally Championship in 1995, as his father and brother had done before him. He famously competed alongside his brother in the Subaru team in the Rally of Great Britain in 1998.
His WRC career was spent mostly behind the wheel of Hyundais and Mitsubishis, and he won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship in 2011 in a Proton. He continues to compete in rally and rallycross events around the world.
One of Australia’s most recognisable and respected racers, Craig Lowndes has won the Bathurst 1000 seven times, most recently this year.
In addition to his seven Bathurst crowns, he has been Supercars champion three times, won the Barry Sheene Medal five times, and holds the record for the most Bathurst podiums with 14.
Starting in open wheelers in the 1990s, Craig was an Australian champion three times before he began in the Australian Touring Car Championship, driving a Holden Commodore. He has also been a regular competitor in the Bathurst 12-Hour, winning three times.
Matt Hall is a third-generation pilot. His grandfather was a pilot in World War Two and Matt started flying with his father at the age of 15 in a glider. He has since racked up more than 4000 hours in flight, with 1500 of those hours at the controls of an F/A-18 Hornet in the Royal Australian Air Force and 500 in a F-15E Strike Eagle on exchange with the US Air Force. A further 500 hours have been spent doing aerobatics.
In 2008 he became the first Australian to earn a Red Bull Air Race Super Licence, beginning in that competition in 2009, when he came third. He has come second in the championship twice.
Hall spends many hours perfecting his freestyle aerobatic manoeuvres, developing novel ways to control the aircraft including end-over-end tumbling.
Tim Slade won in his first race at a national level when he made a one-off appearance in the penultimate race of the 2004 Australian Formula 3 Championship. After a couple of years racing open-wheelers, he made the move to the V8 Supercars development series in 2007 and graduated to V8 Supercars in 2009.
In 2016 he had his first Supercars win with a double at Winton. He finished in seventh place at the Bathurst 1000 in 2017, and is the two-time outright winner of the 2016 and 2017 World Time Attack Challenge in a highly modified Nissan Silvia.
Tim was a star of the first Race to the City film in 2017, driving a Footwork Arrows FA15 through the streets of Adelaide.
Directed and project managed by Adelaide Motorsport Festival event director Tim Possingham, this was an ambitious project from the outset and would have been impossible without the enthusiasm and support of government and regulatory bodies, the film crew, drivers, vehicle owners and many more.
The Club has a very long thankyou list, including:
- The Government of South Australia
- The City of Adelaide
- The South Australian Tourism Commission
- South Australia Police
- Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure SA
- Department of Recreation, Sport and Racing
- Northern Connector Project
- The Bend Motorport Park
- Historic Minardi Day Italy
- Brabham Automotive
- Andy Higgins and family
- Anderson Hill Winery
- Will Ride
- All of our stars, mountain bikers, jet skiers and wakeboarders
- Matt Hall Racing
- Team BRM
- Craig Van Diemen
- Ferrari Adelaide
- Caudo Vineyard
- Pacific National
It would have been so easy to say no. Instead, these organisations embraced this audacious vision with enthusiasm, saying yes and providing support above and beyond what we could have hoped for, showing once again that South Australia is a brilliant place to live, work and RACE.