Motor Sports

Motorsport is a popular spectator sport in Australia and the most widely watched motorsport event is V8 Supercars, especially the Bathurst 1000 endurance touring car race.

Other Motor Sports classes in Australia include Formula 3 (open wheel racing) and Superbikes. Meanwhile, Karting is popular at amateur and junior levels.

Since 1985, Australia have hosted a round of the Formula One championship. For the first 10 years, the Grand Prix was the last round of the championship at Adelaide. Melbourne replaced Adelaide from 1996 until the present.

In 1988, Australia first hosted a round of the World Rally Championship and continued until 2006.

In 2009, the WRC returned to Australia. Both the Motorcycle World Championship and the Superbike World Championship have rounds of their championships held at Phillip Island.

Several other international series have visited Australia, including the World Sportscar Championship, IndyCar Series, Champ Car World Series, Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

The greatest Australian racing driver of all time is Sir Jack Brabham who won the Formula One title in 1959 and 1960 in a Cooper-Climax and adding a third title in 1966 in a Brabham-Repco, the only time the title has been won by a driver in a car he designed.

Brabham was runner up in 1967 and won his last Grand Prix in 1970, before retiring and becoming only the second Australian after Don Bradman to be knighted for his services to sport.

In 1980 Alan Jones became the only other Australian to win the F1 championship this time driving a Williams-Ford.

The most successful domestic Touring car driver was Peter Brock, who won the Bathurst 1000 nine times and finished second in the Belgian classic, the Spa 24 Hours.

Popular motorcyclists include:

  • Michael Doohan - one of the best motorcyclists of all time after his five consecutive titles racing Honda NSR500s from 1994-1998

  • Wayne Gardner - won the title on a NSR500 in 1989

  • Casey Stoner - world champion in 2007, the first rider to win the top division for Ducati

  • Troy Corser - won the World Superbike title 1996 and 2005

  • Troy Bayliss - won the World Superbike title 2001, 2006 and 2008.

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