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Photo essay // Superloop 500 Adelaide

Photo essay // Superloop 500 Adelaide

Photos: Stuey Daddow

Words: Andrew Coles

What’s in a name? If you’re in the marketing department at Superloop, quite a bit, actually.

But with the obvious challenges of overcoming 17 years of Clipsal brand association aside, the 2019 running of Adelaide’s street race for V8 powered touring cars delivered more of the same winning formula that has seen it grow to be one of Australia’s biggest and most loved sporting events.

We’ll be honest, we’re irregular at best followers of (V8) Supercars here at Sports Car Safari. But any major event that brings motorsport to a wider audience has to be a good thing, and not to mention some excellent racing from the headline act, there were some tasty treats hidden in the parklands for those of us with a slightly more exotic bent.

The big news was the long-awaited debut of the Ford Mustang Supercar, and it seems that the adaption of its attractive shape over the spec ‘Car of the Future’ chassis is akin to the square peg/round hole fable. Good on them for trying it, and the Mustang actually looks alright in Shell colours, but the latest-spec Nascar on demonstration duties simply reinforced how good a silhouette Mustang can look. That Walkinshaw Andretti United have elected to delay the introduction of a Camaro until a new chassis is introduced for 2021 tells us all we need to know.

Speaking of demonstration laps, a grid of four historic Formula One cars were let loose on the track throughout the four-day meeting. Friend of SCS, Brenton Griguol, excitedly noted that the last time his Larrousse LC88 ran a circuit in race format was during the 1988 Australian Grand Prix, on this very piece of tarmac. Brenton was joined by an earlier Larrousse LC87, a Toleman TG185, and a Footwork Arrows FA15.

Elsewhere, the Touring Car Masters thrilled in their usual manner, the meeting was once again graced by the single-make Audi R8 LMS Cup, we saw demonstrations laps of the locally-built Brabham BT62 but sadly no lap record attempt, and the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia reminded us just why we love these cars from Flacht quite so much.

Our man Stuey Daddow spent the full four days at the Superloop 500, and shared with us the fruits of his labor in the sweltering heat. Anyone who’s used a camera for days on end in 40+deg ambient heat, in the middle of a concrete canyon, knows just how much sweat is behind his photos.

A new name, new cars on the grid and a rumor of the first date change since 1999 were all swirling about this year. This may all conspire into the biggest changes in the event’s history, but until then, we’ll continue to search for the hidden treasures in what we know well.