The 2022 VALO Adelaide 500 has added to its world-class motorsport line-up with the addition of former Formula 1 Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella to the S5000 Tasman Series starting grid.
The signing of the three-time Grand Prix winner will bring an international flair to the event’s strong on-track racing program, with event organisers taking the opportunity to bring the Italian champion to the streets of Adelaide – the circuit famed for bringing Grand Prix racing to Australia in the 1980s.
VALO Adelaide 500 Chief Executive Mark Warren said: “We are ecstatic to host ‘Fisi’ in Adelaide and have no doubt he’ll put on a show for all eventgoers, particularly the Formula 1 enthusiasts.
“Fisichella brings quality experience from his driving pursuits in Formula 1, GT and Sports Car racing around the world and adds to the high calibre motorsport programme.
“We’re now just under a month to go until we hit the track and this latest signing kicks off a string of big announcements we expect to roll out in the coming weeks.”
Fisichella’s prominence in Australia first came when he won the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in 2005 as well as helping Renault, together with Alonso, to win the World Constructors’ Championship ahead of McLaren and Ferrari that same year.
After his first attempt behind the wheel of an S5000 racer at the 2020 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Fisichella is pumped to get another shot at it.
Giancarlo Fisichella said: “I am thrilled to be coming back to Australia to race S5000 – at last. After the unfortunate cancellation of the races at the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, it’s like we have ‘unfinished business’ to take care of.
“My Formula 1 career started literally a few weeks after the last F1 race in Adelaide, so I have never driven on the circuit, which is now a slightly shorter version of the GP track, and so am looking forward to it enormously. I expect the S5000 car will be fast there.
“I’m also thrilled to be driving with Team BRM, which has a great record in racing in Australia – and who ran my friend Rubens (Barrichello) when he drove S5000 at their very first event, in 2019, and then at the ’no race’ Grand Prix in 2020.”
Making his F1 debut in Melbourne in 1996 (one year following Adelaide’s final F1 Grand Finale), Fisichella drove for Minardi, Jordan, Benetton, Sauber, Renault, Force India and Ferrari across his lengthy 14 season career where he achieved three Grand Prix wins and 19 podium finishes.
Following his Formula 1 pursuits, Fisichella moved to GT and Sports Car racing with great success, including winning the GTE class at the Le Mans 24 Hours on two occasions.
He continues to race competitively, competing in the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship driving a Ferrari for the Iron Lynx team.
The S5000 Tasman Series is the new generation of Australian open wheel racing, and the fastest cars in Australian circuit racing.
Drivers are contesting for both the Australian Drivers’ Championship and Motorsport Australia Gold Star – the oldest and most prestigious drivers’ title in the nation – and the return of the iconic Tasman Series.
Powered by thunderous 5.2-litre V8 engines which produce 560bhp and speeds of up to 300kph, S5000 is the modern successor to the legendary Formula 5000 category, which captured the hearts and minds of Australian motor racing fans throughout the 1970s.
The VALO Adelaide 500 will take place from December 1 – 4, 2022. Tickets are now on sale via Ticketek.