Ok, we get it. Loud V8s moving at extreme speeds, round and round the same track for three days straight, isn’t for everyone.
The annual Supercars event at The Bend Motorsport Park attracts a certain type of car fanatic. And while many of us Aussies might prefer to spend our weekends at wineries or exploring the great outdoors - here in South Australia - we still love to embrace our motorsport events (and hold a warm place in our hearts for our brand-adorned, flag-waving, revved-up, passionate fans that these events bring with them).
The team at The Bend know all of this, and so this year, on top of putting on one of the world’s best motorsport events for the die-hard fanatics right here in South Australia, they’ve gone a few steps further and created a phenomenal all-ages event that anyone (even non-motorsport fans) can get behind!
So from one wine-sipping, outdoors-loving Aussie to another, here’s a few of the reasons why this year’s Repco Supercars Championship at The Bend might just be the event we never knew we needed to experience!
There’s nothing quite like that moment where you grab your wrist-brand (or don your lanyard) and walk through the gates of a major event. Supercars are no different. As soon as you arrive you can hear the crowd and cars roar as you scan the crowd and work out where to set up for the day.
And in 2021 – it feels even better as we finally get to experience that big energy crowd-atmosphere again (after a devastating year off thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic).
It’s always fun to try to spot the drivers and watch their entourage of supporters roam the event grounds too. The aura surrounding some of them (think James Courtney, Scotty Pye and Mark Winterbottom) is a feeling you can’t explain, and you’ll be drawn into the intense rivalry amongst teams and fans.
PS – The Bend was named the World’s Best Motorsport Facility recently too – so we’re not talking tin sheds and front bar vibes – we’re talking world class luxury on and off the track (including the Apex Bar x Dining in the visitor centre).
In 2021, The Bend’s off-track entertainment for Supercars is bigger and better than ever. Honestly, you could head out to the track for a day, and keep yourself entertained without even catching a glimpse of the cars (but you definitely need to).
For the first time ever, the event will include fireworks, a showcase marquee full of local food and wine tasting, roll racing, a pit-lane party, a kids zone and sideshow alley, freestyle motocross displays.
There will also be day and night karting available to punters all weekend long, a street party in Tailem Bend (where you can meet the drivers), and epic stunts from the Hot Wheels team (a car brand even your kids will recognise!).
And if you’re really up for adventure, perhaps you could consider skydiving into the The Bend for Supercars with the crew from SA Skydiving at Langhorne Creek??!! (Read more about it here.)
The Supercars will also have live music from Aussie rock cover band The Angels and Oils. These guys will rock out at the main stage playing a massive back-catalogue of Aussie favourites from The Angels and Midnight Oil.
Ever heard of roll-racing? Neither had we until recently, but it does sound like fun! On Friday night, The Bend will come alive with this battle-style race, as a pair of cars racing the kilometre-long front straight in a format similar to a drag race, except from a rolling start (rather than standstill).
The Fanatec GT World Challenge (Round 3) will be another support event on the weekend. This will include some of those cars most of us only ever see on the screen – imagine a race of car makes like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi and more! This world challenge puts some of the planet’s best cars with pro drivers from around Australia (on one of the best circuits in Australia).
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup is the premier one-make championships in Australia, with drivers competing in identical Porsche 911 GT3 cars (see pic below for those who have no idea what we’re talking about). Watch these sleek cars move around corners like The Fast and the Furious.
And for those who love a good country ute, there’s even a race for these (in V8 form). This is the debut for SuperUtes at The Bend, and they always bring the heat for a good spectator sport!
Ok, this one is for car lovers, but whether you’re in to Supercars or not, you have to appreciate the history of the Holden Commodore – which will be sent off in style at The Bend during this event. Holden owners from across Australia have been invited to celebrate the motorsport legacy of this car, and will drive from the motor museum in Birdwood through to the Bend as part of ‘The Final Roar’ – a fitting tribute before the Commodore is replaced by Camaro in 2022. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and a historic moment for Australia. Turn 17 at the track will also be renamed ‘Holden Heaven’ for the weekend, and thousands of Holden owners are expected to be decked out in their gear to support the nationally-loved brand. To cap off the event, a select range of unique Holdens will also take to the track for a parade on Saturday as part of the on-track entertainment package.
But it’s not just historic Holdens to take the track during Supercars, there will also be a race of historic touring cars taking to the track for an extra treat.
Now that is something every Australian can get behind.
For the first time, this event will host a regional showcase of food, wine and other local wares, which will be open to all ticketholders at the event. Just imagine tasting your way through the delectable range of smoked seafood, Langhorne Creek and Riverland wines, marinated olives, award-winning cheese – before finding the perfect flavour of dehydrated fruit for your next gin session.
One of our favourite parts of this 3-day event, is that we can pack up the camper and head out to The Bend and stay-put for 2 to 3 nights. The onsite camping is an absolute favourite for Motorsport fans as they fly their loyal flags high on top of the annex. But for those less excited about the V8s and more about the event atmosphere, this is the perfect place to stay, because you can soak up the crowd fun, event culture and atmosphere with no worries about transport, designated drivers, wondering where to sleep, or who’s last to bed.
Finally, once you decide to head up to Supercars at The Bend (be it for a day or three), then you should seriously consider tacking-on some time along the Murray River, Lower Lakes or Coorong National Park.
The beauty of Tailem Bend, is that this is only a few kilometres to where three of these iconic environments meet!
So while you’re here, why not book in a few extra days at a local campsite, waterfront holiday home or motel and soak up the calming autumn atmosphere. You might even be able to sneak in to Langhorne Creek for a day of wine tasting (and make sure you check-out the new, super-unique Kimbolton Wines cellar door which has been architecturally designed using shipping containers; or the massive new cellar door upgrade and gin flight at Bremerton Wines!).
Some other great add on options during your Supercars stay might be extra days to take on a round of golf at the beautiful Murray Bridge Golf Club, head out for a group cruise on the Murray River with Four Knots Murray River Cruises, deviate off the freeway to Monarto Safari Park for a Lions 360 experience, or even a short lunch cruise on board the award-winning Proud Mary paddlewheeler!
Or, if you’re headed back to Adelaide or Melbourne – check out some of our best road-trip stop-overs here.
Grab your tickets to the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park (May 7-9) here, and start planning your trip