The Senna cars return to the Adelaide Street Circuit

AMF_Media_call (6)In preparations for this weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival, two iconic Lotus Formula One cars driven in the eighties by Ayrton Senna at the Adelaide F1 Grand Prix made a historic comeback to the famous Adelaide Street Circuit today.

AMF_Media_call (10)The cars only sat stationary at a media call so television news crews could grab footage clips and event organisers could vainly try and explain the true ramifications of 4.5bar of turbo boost to the gathered politicians. But it provided an exciting preview of this coming weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival, where nine F1 cars that competed at Adelaide in period will be assembled and many will be exercised in anger around a shortened version of the track on the doorstep of Adelaide’s CBD. The F1 cars will be joined in the Victoria Park competition by a full field of sports and racing cars, as well as hundreds of display cars and trade stands.

AMF_Media_call (8)These two Lotus’ have been shipped direct from a private Swiss collection just for this event. It was pretty cool to see them sitting on the start line, with the Adelaide Hills an unchanged backdrop in the distance.

AMF_Media_call (3)The Lotus 97T wears John Player Special branding, one of the most iconic liveries in the history of motorsport. Ayrton Senna put this very car on pole position during qualifying for the first Adelaide Grand Prix in 1985 (see video at the bottom).

AMF_Media_call (2)This Camel liveried Lotus 99T was driven by Senna to second place in the 1987 Adelaide Grand Prix, however it was controversially disqualified post race for an illegal design of brake ducting.

AMF_Media_call (5)Both vehicles seem to be in wonderfully original condition, and you’ve just gotta marvel at this era of Formula 1 where 1500cc engines were putting out over 900hp in qualifying trim. The JPS car will be driven in anger this weekend by its Swiss owner, however the Camel car will be relegated to display duties.

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All the information for the Adelaide Motorsport Festival, comprising of the Classic Adelaide Rally and Victoria Park Sprint, can be found here on the official website. These two make a kind of ironic pairing given both Renault and Honda’s performance in our current turbo era of Formula 1, and just maybe the Renault powered JPS car will show us a thing or two about how turbocharging in F1 should to be done.

Photos by Luke Jaksa

Words by Andrew Coles


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  1. peter imlay October 13, 2015 Reply

    I bet the PC police must hate seeing the cigarette advertising.
    Like the pics though, takes one back to the day/s when F1 was i Adelaide.
    Congrats to all inc the pic taker.

  2. Tai le October 14, 2015 Reply

    3 years ago when i was living in germany i was bad and afraid of driving, but that one night i had a dream or like a vision of a track and a man with the yellow helmet with those blue and green stripes, he gave me confident and showed me how to drive, i then later found out who this man was... Ever since i read and watched videos of him and was inspired... This sunday once in a lifetime i would like to see his cars,hes legend that he left behind.

    • Andrew Coles October 22, 2015 Reply

      That's an awesome story! Did you enjoy the event?

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