Classic Adelaide Rally underway as Adelaide Motorsport Festival all set for spectacular weekend

The Adelaide Motorsport is all set to get underway this weekend at Victoria Park, South Australia. The event will be a showcase, demonstrating some of the quickest, most exotic and renowned cars from across the world including pre-1969 vehicles, Formula Fords, high performance and supercars as well as superbikes.

Three time Supercars champion Craig Lowndes will be making an appearance at the event, showcasing a 1986 Benetton B186 Formula One car, Ferrari FXX on track. Lowndes will also be driving a Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T in the Prima Tour event.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet Lowndes along with fellow Supercars drivers Cameron Waters, Tim Slade, Nick Percat, Garth Tander and three time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss during the Driver Autograph session on Friday night as part of the Gouger Street Party. The Gouger Street Party will allow fans the opportunity to see some sensational cars up close.

More than 200 cars, including Classic Adelaide Rally participants along with 16 classic Formula One, Touring Car, GT and Supercars – and Bayliss on a Superbike – will drive from the Adelaide Motorsport Festival precinct to Gouger Street at 5:45pm in the annual ‘Peak Hour of Power’ through Adelaide’s CBD.

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The Benetton B186 that Craig Lowndes will be driving this weekend.

The headline event for the Adelaide Motorsport Festival is the annual Classic Adelaide Rally, which kicked off early on Thursday morning and is set to conclude Saturday evening.

Adam Kaplan and co-driver Aleshia Penney hold a 28.6-second lead over Matt Selley and Hamish McKendrick’s Hartage BMW at the conclusion of the first 10 stages on day one of the rally. Kaplan charged to an early lead in their Allan Moffat-inspired Mazda RX-7, winning the first three stages of the rally and edging out a 11-second lead over Simon Gunson, and co-driver Jurgen Lunsmann, driving a Ford Capri by the lunch break.

Kaplan then extended his lead in the afternoon by winning eight of the day’s ten stages. The Gunson/Lunsmann pairing dropped to fourth in the afternoon behind Selley and McKendrick, and Oscar Matthews and Darren Masters’ Toyota Corolla.

Meanwhile, four-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates and Coral Taylor fought a titanic battle with Ben Calder and Steve Glenney for the lead in the Modern Competition. Bates won the first six stages straight in their ex-Australian Rally Championship Toyota Celica. However, their margin at the lunch break was just 7.3 seconds over the Ben Calder and Steve Glenney in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

In Category S, a seemingly miss-matched battle between the Streckeisen Nissan GTR and Frank Kelly’s Ford Escort still resulted in close competition throughout the day. The pair are split by just six seconds heading into tomorrow’s stages.

The Perkins/Brabbins Subaru STI leads the Modern Challenge competition by just 13 seconds, while the Ephgrave/Beeston Porsche leads Classic Challenge by 25 seconds.

The top five cars in the premier Classic Competition class are covered by less than one minute following the opening 10 stages.

Friday’s running commences with two blasts around Mallala Motorsport Park before the cars return to the Northern Adelaide hills with a blast through Anstey’s Hill and the iconic Chain of Ponds and Corkscrew stages. Second runs through Anstey’s, Chain of Ponds and Corkscrew then complete the day after lunch before the field descends on Gouger Street in the evening for the annual street party.

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Just some of the amazing cars that will be on display during this weekend’s Adelaide Motorpsort Festival.
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