Former Ferrari Formula 1 star Stefan Johansson has been confirmed as a starter in the Classic Adelaide Rally later this month.
Johansson, a veteran of 79 grands prix in an F1 career that spanned 14 seasons from 1983 to 1991, will drive a new Ferrari 488 Spider in the Classic Adelaide Rally. The Swedish ace will head a pack of more than 10 Ferraris (both modern and historic models) in the event.
“We are very privileged to have Stefan back here in Adelaide some 31 years since he first turned a tyre on South Australian tarmac,” said event spokesperson Tim Possingham. “There has been a lot of excitement surrounding his return to the track, but also Ferrari 488 Spider he will drive in the rally on the Friday. Adelaide’s memories of Johansson are synonymous with Ferrari and for the second year running we are proud to have the Ferrari brand embrace the Classic Adelaide Rally and Adelaide Motorsport Festival in the way they have.”
Johansson will only take part on the Friday due to F1 driving commitments at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival at Victoria Park over the following two days.
There he’ll join fellow ‘80s F1 stars Pierluigi Martini and Ivan Capelli in the Victoria Park Sprint event, held on a closed section of the former F1 circuit.
Johansson will drive the same Ferrari 156/85 F1 machine (above) as he did when he finished in the ’85 Australian Grand Prix – on the very same Adelaide roads. Martini and Capelli will drive their 1989 F1 cars (a Minardi and Leyton House respectively).
The Victoria Park Sprint is part of the Adelaide Motor Festival, an event that celebrates South Australia’s motor sporting heritage and in particular the Formula 1 era, from 1985 to 1995. Along with a range of period F1 machinery in addition to the cars to be driven by Johansson, Martini and Capelli, there will be a big selection of historic openwheeler, sports and touring cars (many of which competed during Adelaide’s F1 era) both on static display and competing in the Victoria Park Sprint.
The philosophy behind the Adelaide Motor Festival, says Tim Possingham, is to get people engaged with the cars and the star drivers, up close, with as few barriers as possible.
“You walk straight in, and almost straight away, right in front of you as you arrive, is the Formula One pavilion. You will literally be able to get up so close to the Ferrari 156/85 that you could stick your fingernail into the front tyre. There’s no barrier, no extra cost, to get that close to the cars.
“The cars are right there, the drivers are right there. Once they’ve been out onto the track and they come back in, they drive though the main spectator area at walking pace. So you can literally be sitting in what we call the refuel food and wine zone, and Stefan Johansson will roll past in the Ferrari, or Ivan Capelli in the Leyton House will roll past…”
“It’s $30 to get in, but from there on, the only extra thing is if you want premium trackside viewing, where you’ve got elevated viewing and it’s licensed, and there’s an additional $10 cost.
The Adelaide Motor Festival will be held at Adelaide's Victoria Park over the weekend on November 19-20.