THE 2011 Clipsal 500 Adelaide motorsport carnival will be March 17-20.by Stuart Innes
The dates of the 13th running of the state's biggest ticketed sport event will be announced today by Deputy Premier Kevin Foley at the official launching of the 2011 event.
The invitation-only official launching to corporate supporters and media will be at Adelaide Casino.
However, a promotion and announcements for the public will be at Rundle Mall, city from noon to 2pm where fans can see grid girls, V8 Supercar race machines and other race cars.
As at the official launching, the public event in Rundle Mall also will be told of the line-up of support race categories, the performers at the big Saturday night concert of race weekend and new ticket offers.
The dates of the 2011 Clipsal 500 are to be confirmed today by Mr Foley although V8 Supercars Australia had said its full race calendar for next year will not be settled until after the Bathurst 1000 race next month.
It is understood the State Government and the South Australian Motor Sport Board are keen to establish the date of the Clipsal 500 as soon as possible given the "Mad March" list of events in Adelaide, including the Fringe Festival, WOMAD and Adelaide Cup.
The Advertiser believes the Clipsal 500 Adelaide will be the third event of the 2011 V8 Supercar calendar and the first in Australia following Middle-East races in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, as it was this year.
The full calendar announcement next month will end speculation one way or the other about a race being at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, a twilight event on a street circuit; and when Western Australia will be returned to the V8 Supercar Championship, Australia's leading motorsport category.
Although selected V8 Supercar driving stars are expected at the official launching today, time pressures do not allow them to also attend the public launching in Rundle Mall, a disappointment to fans.
The Clipsal 500 is noted for its packed car race program of support categories, which will be announced today, although the presence of an Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo in the Rundle Mall display suggests the Australian GT Championship again will feature at the Clipsal street race meeting.