Adelaide 500 recap

The 2018 Clipsal 500 is the season opener for the category now known as Supercars. This year's event was history making on four fronts: seeing the Audi Sport LMS R8 cars race in Australia for the first time; the debut run for the new SuperUtes category; the first major event for Holden in 2018 after ceasing manufacturing in 2017; and the debut of the Opel sourced ZB Commodore in a trim never to be seen on Aussie roads.


It's the twentieth time that Adelaide has hosted the opening round and the street circuit, renowned for its ability to bite any driver that blinks, didn't fail to do so again.


The program is always full at the Clipsal, with the headline act backed by a solid group of support categories including Improved Production cars, Carrera Cup,  Stadium Trucks, the Dunlop Super 2 series (formerly known as the Development Series), and the Touring Car Masters.


New to Australia were the Audis. There's a strong competition base in this category and they joined the Australian racing scene for the first time after successful seasons in the South East Asian region.


But it was eyes on the ZB Commodore as the new bodyshape hit the track for the first time on Friday. Fourteen of the ZB shapes ventured out and, as expected, it was Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull team that topped the timing chart first up.


However Whincup would also be the first in the Commodores to hit the walls in the notoriously fickle street circuit and necessitating some frantic behind the scenes repair work overnight. Qualifying had Kiwi gun Shane van Gisbergen top qualifying and he'd go on to win the weekend's races.


The Commodore itself has seen much debate, has divided purists and general punters, and with a non V8 powertrain and FWD/AWD inside its hatchback styled body in the road-going versions, further, in many opinions, takes Supercars away from its production based roots.


The Stadium Super Trucks have proved to be a crowd pleaser since they commenced racing in Australia, with the 2018 season seeing a famous Australian name in the charts. Brabham. Matthew Brabham.


Proving that petrol runs deep in his veins, Brabham would close out the weekend with a first and two thirds. The weekend was not without incident for the high flying machines, with one driver hitting a wall just before the finish line after a collision with another driver. Somehow the vehicle made it across the line in a cloud of smoke sans a rear wheel.


As always, the Touring Car Masters, or TCM, put on a show and Rare Spares ambassador John Bowe didn't hold back in his racing efforts. JB qualified third in the Wilson Security/PAYCE Holden Torana SL/R before setting the fastest lap in race one, but traffic early in the race had the Torana fall to mid field.


Race 2 was a better effort, with Bowe finishing second, and just three tenths behind Steven Johnson, son of his old racing partner, Dick. JB also managed to set the faster race time than Johnson and closed to within a tenth of the fastest ever race lap for the TCM at Adelaide, set by one John Bowe in 2017 at 1.29.28.


The Torana continued its form in Saturday's third race, taking the checkered flag a full half second ahead of Johnson in his Mustang, and again knocked on the door of the outright race record. Sunday's fourth and final race for the TCM category saw Johnson failing to finish, but Bowe avoided any entanglements to take out the race, winning the weekend, and seeing just two one hundredths of a second needed to break his own race record, setting a 1.29.30.


As a Rare Spares ambassador, John Bowe is an ideal fit for the Touring Car Masters as well, as Rare Spares have parts and panels for the kinds of cars that race in this spectator friendly category. You can find out more about Rare Spares at


Were you at the Clipsal 500? What did you think? Head over to the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know in the comments section below.


Clipsal Round-up

22. March 2016 16:02 by Rare Spares in Rare Spares  //  Tags: , , ,   //   Comments (0)

Rare Spares were proud to present the first Touring Car Masters round this year with the season kick off in Adelaide at the Clipsal 500 over the first weekend of March. We also were delighted to send along Mark and Jane, Rare Spares customers who visited Rare Spares at Summernats, to the event for the weekend long experience!

"Both Mark and I were thrilled to find out we had been lucky enough to win the Rare Spares Clipsal Experience. We had an amazing weekend away…  We were treated like VIPs!" said Jane.  

Our guests also got to meet Rare Spares Ambassador and motorsport legend John Bowe who had a great weekend himself, starting on the Friday with a qualifying time a full one second faster than his own record time, to put him on the front of the grid for the seventh time in a row at Clipsal. That was until the very end of the session when Glen Seton’s Ford Mustang snuck ahead by six one hundredths of a second to grab pole instead.

The first race of the season got underway in sweltering conditions later that afternoon. Starting from second on the grid, JB found himself and his Torana with an early lead but was passed by Greg Ritter in his Chevy Monza. After an appearance from the Safety Car, Bowe was unable to get back ahead of Ritter and had to settle for second place with Glen Seton in hot pursuit.

Starting once again from second on the grid for Saturday’s race, JB and Ritter were hard at it from the off, forcing Bowe to clip the tyre wall at the first turn, causing damage to his steering arm and forcing him back to fifth. With the typical courage JB has become famous for, he fought his way back to third behind race winner Greg Ritter and the Falcon XB Coupe of Eddie Abelnica.

Sunday’s race was a reverse grid format which made JB’s job a lot harder because of his outstanding qualifying effort. Adam Garwood and his Torana eventually took the win ahead of Andrew Fisher and Andrew Miedecke.

Series wise, JB sits in a fantastic second place on 158 points, just 12 points behind series leader Greg Ritter and seven points ahead of Eddie Abelnica.

The next TCM round will be the Shannons Nationals at Sandown from the 1st to the 3rd of April.

V8 Supercar star driver and Rare Spares sponsored Jason Bright’s season also got off to a sweltering start. Race One saw Jason finish in 19thposition in what could only be described as torturous conditions, with temperatures inside the car exceeding 60 °C!

Race Two saw a massive improvement as Brighty was able to bring his VF Commodore home in eighth place in the second 125 kilometre race.

For the third and final race on Sunday, the weather played havoc as everyone rushed to put wets on for the start, just as the heavens opened. With the rain beginning to ease, Jason, starting from 18th on the grid, decided to pit for slicks and fuel. This tactic payed off as he was able move up ten places to eventually finish in a well-deserved eighth place.

The V8 Supercars next event will be at the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint from the 1st to the 3rd of April.

Rare Experience Winners Bright Weekend

18. March 2015 11:13 by Rare Spares in   //  Tags: , , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

The ‘Rare Experience’ was the ultimate money can’t buy motorsport competition for two lucky people to attend the Clipsal 500 as a free offer to any spectator that visited the Rare Spares stand and entered the competition during Summernats 28.

The prize included two return flight tickets from your nearest capital city to Adelaide, 2 nights accommodation, Pit Lane/Grid Walk access + 3 day admission tickets + a Hot Lap with Jason Bright in the Team BOC V8 Supercar around the famous Adelaide street circuit.

Hundreds of entries were received but there could be only one major prize winner and the ultimate motorsport weekend went to…drum roll……. Troy Townsend.

Troy doesn’t normally enter competitions as he never wins anything, so was in shock when he received the call from the Rare Spares team that he had won.

Troy’s partner Sue is nearly a bigger V8 Supercar fan than Troy, so Sue was always going to be the extra person Troy brought along with him.

“He would have been in trouble if he didn’t take me!” laughed Sue.

Troy and Sue loved every minute of their experience.

“It was a great weekend, tiring due to the heat, but so much fun!” said Troy.

One of the highlights of the weekend was of course getting suited up to go for a highly sought after hot lap ride with Jason Bright in his race V8 Supercar around the street course.

“Awesome! Even now, after the event, I can’t believe how much grip and how it stayed on the road, it was so fast!” said Troy.

Jason Bright even hung around post ride to chat and answer questions for the lucky winners.

“All in all it was a great weekend and we want to thank Rare Spares for the opportunity” said Sue Bennett.

Rare Spares also offered a $500 Rare Spares product voucher for the runners up prize and a Rare Spares gift pack for third place as well, so it was a fantastic and very successful competition.

Stay tuned to the Rare Spares Facebook page for regular competitions or become a Rare Owners Club member, by visiting