The Adelaide Motorsport Festival will be taking to the streets next week, as part of the ‘peak hour of power’. Featuring the likes of Craig Lowndes, Garth Tander, Cam Waters and Troy Bayliss piloting an eye-popping array of classic racers, the procession will work its way through traffic on its way to a party on Gouger Street, Adelaide.
We experienced this craziness first-hand in 2016, where we sat side-by-side with historical Formula One cars, driven by ex-F1 champions, on the public road. Perhaps more entertaining than the cars, though, was the public’s reaction when a stream of priceless racers rolled past them without any prior warning.
It’s a totally unique idea, and one unlikely to be given the green light in any other state. In fact, there aren’t many places where you’ll see a cavalcade of classic and contemporary cars like this on city streets. There are even fewer places where you’ll be able touch them, talk to their drivers and enjoy them in a party-style environment.
Peak Hour of Power kicks off at 5:45pm on Friday, December 8, and rolls up Wakefield Street through Victoria Square, before turning left onto Morphett Street on the way to Gouger Street, Adelaide.
2007 Ferrari FXX, driven by Craig Lowndes
The Enzo-based FXX is one of the most exclusive cars in the world. Only 30 were built, and the cars were only to existing Ferrari owners in Europe, who were only allowed to drive the car on approved track days. Its 6.3-litre V12 engine makes 597kW, and an incredible sound to boot.
2000 Arrows A21, driven by Josh Kean
Mark Webber was test driver at Arrows while this car was in development. It was notable for being fully carbon-fibre, including the tub, wishbones, brakes and gearbox casing. I
t’s fitted with a Hart V10 engine from the previous year, making 597kW at an incredible 18,000 rpm.
1986 BMW Benetton, driven by Cam Waters
The Benetton B186 was driven by Gerhard Berger in the 1986 F1 season. Its BMW engine made a staggering 1044kW in qualifying trim, making it the most powerful F1 engine ever raced.
This car competed at the Adelaide Grand Prix, but Berger didn’t finish because of an engine failure.
1994 Arrows FA 15, driven by Tim Slade
Christian Fittipaldi campaigned this Footwork FA15 in 1994, taking it to ninth place in the championship – and eighth at the Adelaide GP.
This particular example isn’t running the correct 1994 livery, although an ongoing restoration project will likely change that soon enough.
1988 Larrousse, driven by Brenton Griguol
Raced by Philippe Alliot at the 1988 Adelaide GP, this car has been restored to race-spec.
With a Lola chassis and Cosworth engine, the car had solid fundamentals, but the team didn’t achieve a pole position, race win or fastest lap in its 127-race life.
2017 Super 5000, driven by Garth Tander
This particular car is a prototype for Super5000, support class for Supercars in 2018. The car is a lightweight open-wheeler, with a Supercars-spec 5.0-litre V8 and a sequential transaxle gearbox.
1974 March F1
It might be more than 40 years old, but this March is still driven hard – it actually held the lap record at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival until last year.
Although the name is rarely mentioned in 2017, March was one of the bigger players in F1, even though it never managed to win a title. With a weight sticker around 600kg and around 373kW on tap, it’s one seriously quick car.
1967 Brabham BT21 B
Australian F1 champion, Sir Jack Brabham, was also pretty handy when it came to building racing cars. His firm was the largest manufacturer of race cars during the ’60s, with four drivers’ and two constructors’ titles sitting in the trophy cabinet.
Brabham remains the only Australian to win a Formula One world title, although Daniel Ricciardo is looking to change that.
2015 Ducati Superbike, ridden by Troy Bayliss
The Ducati is a race-spec bike, based on the road-going Panigale. Specced to match bikes from the World Superbike Championship, it demonstrates how close race-spec bikes are to the road-bound cousins, especially when compared to race cars from the top classes.
1990 Ford Sierra Group A
Originally piloted by Dick Johnson and John Bowe at the Bathurst 1000, the Sierra Group A will be hitting the track with Bowe behind the wheel this weekend. The car will also be running around as part of the Heritage Touring Cars exhibition, albeit with its owner (not Bowe) driving.
1985 Ferrari F40
The F40 was, famously, the last Ferrari to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. It was a game-changer when released in 1987, with a 2.9 litre twin-turbo V8 pushing it to more than 300km/h. It’s also incredibly sought after today.
Compared to modern Ferraris, the car is almost comically stripped back, with no carpets or door-trim, minimal sound deadening and, crucially, a manual gearbox.
2009 Ferrari 599XX
Developed in the same vein as the FXX above, the 599XX is a lightweight, track-only version of the now-usurped 599 GTB.
With carbon-fibre body parts, a stripped-back interior, and aggressive aerodynamics package, the car can only be run at approved Ferrari track days. Not just anyone could buy one, either – only repeat Ferrari buyers were offered the chance.
2017 McLaren 675LT, driven by Nick Percat
McLaren’s 675 LongTail supercar does 0-200kmh in 7.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 360km/h. Obviously, it won’t be going quite that quickly on the Adelaide streets.
2012 Toyota WTF86, driven by Todd Hazelwood
With a stroked 4.1L twin-turbo V6 engine from a Nissan GT-R, this Toyota is built for speed, but retains a full interior, sound system and even air-conditioning.
It’s also fully street legal – impressive, given the car posted 824kW at the wheels, which is equivalent to around 969kW at the crank.
We will be covering the Adelaide Motorsport Festival from Friday to Sunday, so stay tuned for more from the show.