Sunday, March 20, 2011

Adelaide Clipsal 500 review

The day is Saturday, 19th March 2011. I previously received a complimentary Trackside ticket during the week to see the Clipsal race for this day.

Now, never being a big fan of the V8s and never watching very much on the telly, I was actually excited to just see what all the fuss was about. Being more of an F1 racing fan, I figured I'd give it a go, seeing as I should help out good ol' Adelaide events with my feet (and beer money). I enjoy racing, but never actually seen a live racing event!  How very sad.

So, I've only got a two hour time frame for the event (unfortunately had other engagements that day).  Im there, standing in a fairly long line to get in at Gate 3.  A faint waft of cigarettes, B.O. and bourbon floats through the air.  Yes! Thats the spirit!

I get to the first corner for an early race that has just started.  Not sure which race it was, but it was close to 11.30am, so perhaps someone could fill me in.  Anyway, at the corner near Gate 5.  Got my camera ready to take a shot at the point where the petrol machines accelerate down the straight.  They sweep around the corner, I hit click on my camera and ..WHOOSH!..


Oops sorry kiddies, that was my whole body freaking out at the power this beasties have when they accelerated down the stretch.  I thought I was going to die!  I had no idea how AWESOME a fast car's power would be simply standing behind a barrier watching it.  So, points definitely get given to the cars. Fantastic.

Ok, so I have a map of the track and decide I want to walk around it as much as I can.  Here is where I get pissed off.  I want to get to the next corner, but everything is barricaded off.  I ask gate staff what is the best way to go to get to this corner (whilst pointing to it on the map).  They said "Oh, you have to leave and go around to the next gate and get back in".  Ok, so I got stamped and left.

What felt like ten minutes later, on a sunny day without even having a beer in my hand, I walked around the outside without being able to see any of the only race I could have seen in my two hours.  After finally getting the gate, I found I couldn't even get to the corner I wanted.  I pretty much walked past it to get to the next gate. Gate security fail.

Anyway, got back in, lost 5 kilos off the waist from the walk (can't complain about that) and decided to head towards a bridge everyone seemed to be going towards.  Ok, good idea, lets do that.  Waited five minutes in line to just get onto this bridge. Took what felt like another five minutes to get to the other side of the bridge.  Got there to be told "Sorry, you can't go any further on a Trackside pass".  So you think there was any other direction I could have gone from there?  No, back on the bridge to whence I came!

Man, what a nightmare.  This event might be all right if they got their shit together.  I've spent a good part of my day wasted and I'd so been looking forward to this event.  Now I just wanted to go home, after a beer first of course!  Anyway, I knew there were some XXXX Angels somewhere nearby, so I went and watched their performance.  Ahhh, thanks girls, much better.  Even gave me some souveniers.

Well, I dont really want to bag an Adelaide event, but overall I would have to say that it was a big let down. From my perspective, it was unorganised for your general admission spectators. You'd have to go to the event at least once or twice to figure out how it's best to get around.  I guess it's like most events, but I'd be more pissed if I actually paid for my ticket.  It is disappointing that two event staff members weren't sufficiently trained and had let down one useless person like me, where they should have said "turn around and use that bridge behind you", which I found out later in the day.  Perhaps it would have worked better in my favour if I said "I'm probably reviewing this event on a blog", but that would have ruined my lovely experience.

What brings Clipsal up though are these awesome machines that run around the tracks, the gorgeous grid girls (and you lovely XXXX angels) and the passion of the V8 fans.  I loved seeing so many people supporting the event, even if it is designed like a rat maze with the prize cheese sitting somewhere in Brazil.

Here are some happy snaps of the day, hopefully I get a chance again next year to go again.  Maybe my luck will improve by then.

- tork

Tork is owner of the Adelaide and South Australia blog and is lead reviewer.
Please note, the Adelaide Clipsal 500 ticket was note received for purposes for review through this blog or received through this blog.

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  1. Hopefully the organisers can make it easier to get around for next events.. or just make it more clearer for dummys like me.

    the V8's were fricken awesome though.. makes me want to watch it a bit more!

  2. Tork, we live very close to the NASCAR Bristol Motor Speedway. Race fans in town this weekend, a matter of fact. I am not a race fan myself, but my husband and children are.
    I do not fancy going to the race, and on the occasion that I have been there (working the concession stand for our basketball teams), it has been totally crazy! People everywhere, so easy to lose your way, everyone drunk as skunks...okay, well not everyone, but 99.9% are..., and just not my type of event. But, I do have to say that I am happy that I have had the opportunity to see exactly what it is that everyone in Bristol goes crazy over twice a year:)