The 2013 Clipsal 500, to be held from 28 Feb – 3 March, was officially launched to the public and media of Adelaide last Friday in a midday event on the circuit at Victoria Park. I don’t usually go to these sorts of events because they can be a little dull at times, but the opportunity to have a quick lunchtime look at some GT cars proved too irresistible to miss.
And I guess coming from the Clipsal organisers it should come as no surprise, but the launch event was far bigger than I expected. A few thousand people watched on as examples from each of the support categories drove at moderate speed around an abbreviated version of the track, and a rather big announcement was made to the gathered crowd.
Mr Block himself, along with his rather nuts Olsbergs MSE prepared 650+hp Fiesta Gymkhana car, will run drift demonstrations on all four days of the event. Regardless of how highly you rate Block’s videos and his approach to motorsport in general, this is a huge coup for the event and is sure to drive a huge crowd. Just remember, here’s a guy who has the pull to have suburban San Francisco shut down so he can run amuck filming a gymkhana video which has had nearly 33 million hits on Youtube in just 4 months, and he’s coming for a 4 day performance in Adelaide.
I’m happy to admit that I’m actually really looking forward to seeing Block perform. Whilst he proved to the world that he’s not quite up to WRC level, the guy can seriously drive and the car is an absolute animal, so it’s sure to be spectacular if nothing else. I’m also interested to see what type of crowd he will attract – maybe the flat brimmed Monster Energy cap and hoodie wearing clan will fight it out with the mulletted VB drinking yobs for bogan supremacy?
Clipsal will also be the first outing for the new Car Of The Future, a blueprint chassis and suspension design for all V8 Supercars which paves the way for new manufacturers to enter the sport. Nissan will be on the grid with a Kelly Brothers run V8 Altima, as well as Mercedes-Benz with an Erebus Racing run AMG powered E class.
At the minute we’re in a golden age of V8 Supercar racing, and Car Of The Future will decide if V8 Supercar leaps to a new decade of strength, or falls off into irrelevance like many categories before it. How will the old pushrod V8’s employed by Holden and Ford fare against the modern, 24 valve Nismo and AMG V8’s? Will there be even parity? Will the fans embrace the new manufacturers? All will be revealed in March.
Clipsal organisers have already hit the sweet spot as far as support categories are concerned, and the formula hasn’t been messed with for 2013. The Dunlop V8 Supercar series, Australian GT Championship, V8 utes, Touring Car Masters, Aussie Racing Cars, Australian F3 Championship and Carrera Cup all feature on the bill.Adelaide Street Circuit #Clipsal 500 2013 #Gymkhana #Ken Block #V8 Supercars