on 27 Nov 2023
The VAILO Adelaide 500 always produces epic, unforgettable moments and the 2023 version had some doozies.
From the minute the cars hit the track on Thursday and the rain started falling to the mammoth Concert Oval crowd joining in on singing Robbie Williams’ hits on Sunday night, we again had many incredible experiences.
These, however, are our favourites.
5 - WORK ON SATURDAY, PARTY ON SUNDAY
Brodie Kostecki secured the 2023 Supercars championship by finishing sixth in Saturday’s race, as his rival for the title Shane van Gisbergen crashed out on the first lap.
That meant Kostecki gained enough points to not be beaten to the title - and all the hard work was done ahead of the last race of the season.
He still finished the Sunday race in the Top 10, then celebrated his achievement with a solid one-minute long burnout down pit straight in his Chevrolet Camaro.
The CocaCola by Erebus Chevrolet Camaro driver then slurped down a Coca Cola while standing on the roof of his race car in Victory Lane as confetti rained around him.
4 - FABULOUS FLYOVERS
The loudest RAAF jet yet to put on an air display over an Adelaide 500 wowed us during its extensive flyovers on both Saturday and Sunday.
The F-35A Lightning II took speed, noise and power to another level during its 10-minute displays, taking some of us by surprise and stopping most of us in our tracks.
We could feel the sound waves in our ears as well as hear them, with the vibe extending well into the grandstands and suites.
It also flew extremely low, giving us all a great view of the machinery as it sliced through the atmosphere.
3 - THE HEADLINE ACT
There were three nights of After Race Concerts - first we danced at Carl Cox and Eric Powell’s Mobile Disco on Friday and rocked out with Icehouse and all the supporting bands on Saturday.
But it was Robbie Williams on Sunday night that we had been waiting 12 months to see.
One of the biggest concert crowds in Adelaide 500 history gathered at the Concert Oval to see the UK pop sensation crank out his biggest hits, and from the moment the show started we let him entertain us.
There were crowd singalongs - even if we didn’t know all the words - and his concert really helped end the weeken with a big bang.
2 - THE ADELAIDE CROWD TALLY
We thought last year’s crowd was huge - but then it got even bigger in 2023.
An estimated 260,700 people flocked to the VAILO Adelaide 500 over four days - about 2500 more than in 2022 - with not even wet weather at the start of the weekend dampening our spirits.
It was the biggest crowd at the event since 2018 and included fans who visited from overseas and interstate as well as South Australia.
Saturday’s race winner Cam Waters may have best summed it up: “I think it’s one of the best races of the year. I just love the track.”
1 - THE ROOKIE WINS THE VAILO ADELAIDE 500
Because the winner of the race on Sunday is crowned the VAILO Adelaide 500 winner, Matt Payne is the name that will be forever etched into the history books.
He follows in the footsteps of drivers such as Jamie Whincup and Broc Feeney, who also won their first ever races on the streets of Adelaide.
“All the good drivers win the Adelaide 500 - that’s where it starts,” Whincup said of Payne’s win after the race.
The next generation of Supercars drivers certainly are giving Adelaide crowds the first taste of how good they can be.
The VAILO Adelaide 500 will be back, 14 - 17 November 2024.
To ensure you receive the latest news, subscribe to our mailing list here.