Tuesday, November 17, 2015

F1 City Guide - Adelaide

Many people will fondly recall the Adelaide street circuit as the home of the Australian Grand Prix for 11 years from 1985-1995.  Next to the CBD, the circuit was a mixture of city streets and then into the parklands to finish the lap.

Adelaide was always the final race of the season, so it had it's fair share of title deciders, drama, intrigue and of course the party atmosphere that came with finishing the season.

This blog will explore Adelaide's Grand Prix racing past and also what it offers F1 fans today.

The Past

Grand Prix racing has been held near Adelaide since 1937.  These circuits were amazing ...

  • Unbelievable by today's standards, the 1937 Australian Grand Prix was held on a road course 12km long, in-between the seaside towns of Port Elliot and Victor Harbour.

  • Lobethal Circuit: 1939 Australian Grand Prix.  At almost 14kms long, this wild circuit in the Adelaide Hills passed through the towns of Charleston and Lobethal.  It is the longest racing circuit in Australian history.

  • Nuriootpa Road Circuit: 1950 Australian Grand Prix, this circuit was 7km long!

  • Port Wakefield Circuit: 1955 Australian Grand Prix, won by Jack Brabham.  This circuit has now "faded very quickly back into the scrub".

  • Mallala: 1961 Australian Grand Prix, a former RAAF base, still going today.

Vern Schuppan is the sole F1 driver born in South Australia.

Today

Activities for F1 fans

If you are visiting Adelaide, these are the options for F1 fans:
  • Walk the street circuit; a plaque/memorial site for Ayrton Senna can be found at the Senna chicane, off Wakefield Road.
  • A shortened version of the track is still used for local touring car racing; Adelaide 500.
  • Adelaide Motorsport Festival - rally and sprint events.
  • Mallala Motor Sport Park
  • Several go-karting locations.

Shopping/Eating
  • Motoring Bookshop, 47 Gouger Street, Adelaide CBD.

Thanks for reading.  Please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast

Links:

Australian Grand Prix:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Grand_Prix
Tasman Series:  http://tasmanrevival.com/history-of-the-tasman-series/
Australian F1 drivers:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_drivers_from_Australia

Adelaide Street Circuit:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide_Street_Circuit
Adelaide Motorsport Festival:  http://www.adelaidemotorsportfestival.com.au/
Mallala Motor Sport Park:  http://www.mallala.com/



 

Monday, November 16, 2015

F1 City Guide - Melbourne

Melbourne is synonymous with the Australian Grand Prix.  Since 1996 Albert Park, near the CBD, has hosted the race and is contracted to do so until at least 2023.

This blog will explore Melbourne's Grand Prix racing past and also what it offers F1 fans today.

The Past

The first eight Australian Grand Prix starting in 1928 were held at the Phillip Island circuit.  It's one of five locations near Melbourne to have that honour:

Phillip Island 8 times:  1928 - 1935
Point Cook: 1948
Albert Park twice: 1953, 1956
Sandown 6 times: 1964, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, 1978
Calder 5 times : 1980 - 1984

Some of these races were part of The Tasman Series which ran from 1964 to 1975.

Other races held near Melbourne were part of the Australian Drivers Championship.  e.g. 1958 Victoria Trophy Race at Fisherman's Bend and the Melbourne Grand Prix in 1958 at Albert Park, won by Stirling Moss.

So what did the Albert Park circuit look like back then?  It was faster and much more dangerous of course.  And 300 metres shorter than the modern layout. 



Also in Melbourne, Sir Jack Brabham's BT19 Repco engine (winning the title in 1966) was built at Richmond and then relocated to another Repco site at Maidstone.

There were 5 Formula 1 drivers from Melbourne or regional Victoria; Larry Perkins, Paul Hawkins, Paul England, Brian McGuire and Ken Kavanagh.

Today

Activities for F1 fans

If you are visiting Melbourne, these are the options for F1 fans:
  • The Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park.
  • Various motorsport events the other circuits mentioned above, except Point Cook and Fisherman's Bend.
  • National Sports Museum: there is a display of Brabham's BT19 1966 F1 car.
  • Albert Park also hosts commemorative brass busts for Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.
  • Several go-karting locations, "Ace Karts" looks like fun!
  • Sim racing at Docklands.
Shopping/Eating
  • City Sports & F1, Melbourne CBD.
  • Model Mania, Melbourne CBD.
  • Motor Book World, Canterbury.
  • F1 theme cafes on Lygon Street: eg. Café Corretto (complete with Ferrari replica F1 car on the roof!) and Café Cavallino.
Thanks for reading.  Please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast

Links:

Australian Grand Prix:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Grand_Prix
Tasman Series:  http://tasmanrevival.com/history-of-the-tasman-series/
Australian F1 drivers:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_drivers_from_Australia

Sunday, November 8, 2015

F1 City Guide - Sydney

When pondering Formula One in Australia, most people naturally think of the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne and the Adelaide street circuit.

However, Sydney and it's surrounding areas also has a history of Grand Prix racing.  This blog will explore it's past and also what Sydney offers F1 fans today.

The Past

The first Australian Grand Prix was run officially in 1928, however there was an unofficial race the year before near Sydney at Goulburn.

Sydneysiders could also enjoy Australian Grand Prix races at:

Bathurst, NSW 4 times: 1938, 1947, 1952, 1958
Warwick Farm, Sydney 4 times: 1963, 1967, 1970, 1971
Oran Park, Sydney twice: 1974, 1977

Some of these races were part of The Tasman Series which ran from 1964 to 1975 as well as The Australian Drivers Championship.

Bathurst, near Sydney, is an iconic track in Australian motorsport.  The Grand Prix circuit at Warwick Farm is gone however the horse racecourse is still there (with no references to it's Grand Prix past!)  Oran Park is now a housing development.

Sir Jack Brabham

Sir Jack Brabham was born in Hurstville, Sydney.  The house was in McQuarie Street near Queens Road but it's no longer there.  As a boy he raced his soapbox down Patrick Street.  In the early years, Jack worked on this famous "RedeX Special" car from his workshop in Penshurst. 

Jack raced on several Sydney circuits early in his career: Sydney Showground, Parramatta Park and the Mount Druitt Racing Circuit (now Whalen Reserve).  Later, much of his aviation was conducted from Bankstown Airport and after he retired he setup "Brabham Aviation" there.  He also owned a Ford dealership in Bankstown.

Today a street is named after him in Hurstville; "Jack Brabham Drive".  Also in the city of Orange, NSW, there is Sir Jack Brabham Park on the site of the historic "Gnoo Blas" circuit.

Sir Jack Brabham is not the only Sydney born F1 driver.  Joining him are Tim Schenken, David Walker, Frank Gardner and Warwick Brown.

Today

Activities for F1 fans

If you are visiting Sydney, these are the options for F1 fans:
  • Events at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek and Sydney Speedway, Granville.
  • Goulburn and Bathurst circuits; a short drive from Sydney.
  • Several go-karting locations, "Ultimate Karting Sydney" has a replica F1 car. 
  • Sim racing at Bondi Junction and Darling Harbour.

Shopping/Eating
  • The Motorsport Shop, Hurstville.
  • Automoto Bookshop (Sydney CBD) & Pitstop Bookshop (Warriewood).
  • Wheels Automotive Books, Parramatta.
  • Model Cars Too, 152 Clarence Street, Sydney CBD.
  • Various hobby stores such as Hobbyco.
  • Bridge Street Garage, Sydney CBD.

Thanks for reading.  Please leave your comments.

Pep, F1 Podcast


Links:

Australian Grand Prix:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Grand_Prix
Tasman Series:  http://tasmanrevival.com/history-of-the-tasman-series/
Australian F1 drivers:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formula_One_drivers_from_Australia

Wakefield Park, Goulburn:  http://www.wakefieldpark.com.au/
Bathurst:  http://www.mount-panorama.com.au/
Sydney Motorsport Park:  http://www.sydneymotorsportpark.com.au/
Eastern Creek Karts:  http://easterncreekkarts.com.au/
Sydney Speedway:  http://valvolineraceway.com.au/

Ultimate Karting:  http://www.ultimatekartingsydney.com.au/
GP Shop, Hurstville:  http://gpshop.net/
The Grid, Bondi Junction:  http://www.thegridracing.com.au/sydney/racing-simulators-Sydney
RaceCentre, Darling Harbour:  http://www.racecentre.com/

Automoto Bookshop:  http://www.automotobookshop.com.au/
Pitstop Bookshop:  https://www.pitstop.net.au/
Hobbyco:  https://hobbyco.com.au/
Bridge Street Garage:  http://bridgestgarage.com.au/