Three of Australia’s most significant motorsport champions will be tackling this year’s Classic Adelaide in high-speed luxury aboard three of Mercedes-Benz’s latest performance sports cars.

Sir Jack Brabham, Mick Doohan and Vern Schuppan will all be behind the wheel of high performance Mercedes for the four-day classic tarmac rally through the hills and valleys surrounding the South Australian capital.

Sir Jack, who is also the patron of Classic Adelaide, will be driving a Mercedes Benz SLK 350 roadster in the Shannon’s Thoroughbred Tour as he marks the 40th anniversary of his historic third World Driver’s Championship victory.

The 80-year old three-times World Champion will not be competing for outright honours but is looking forward to enjoying the chance to have a spirited drive on the magnificent roads of the Adelaide Hills.

Vern Schuppan, a former Le Mans winner, will be aboard a dashing black Mercedes SL 55 AMG coupe in an event he describes as one of the truly great motorsport events in the world.

“I love being a part of Classic Adelaide, it is fantastic to be involved in the atmosphere and tremendous to be with so many motorsport enthusiasts enjoying beautiful cars,” Schuppan said.

“The Mercedes SL 55 is going to be fantastic, it has a big torquey supercharged V8 under the bonnet and all of the Benz safety and technology advantages so it is fast and safe,” he added.

Mick Doohan is down to share Mercedes latest high performance CLK 63 AMG sedan and this time he is vowing to keep the rubber side down after a rollover in Targa Tasmania.

As well as supporting three major motorsport icons, Mercedes has also entered a fleet of its newest AMG performance cars in what will be the ultimate road test for a contingent of Australian motoring writers.

The motor noters will be steering the recently released Mercedes Benz E63 AMG sedan, CLK 63 AMG Coupe and CLS 63 AMG 4-Door Coupe in the Shannon’s Thoroughbred Tour, enabling them to sample the high-speed poise and handling under controlled competition conditions.

Classic Adelaide gets underway tomorrow with the prologue on a shortened version of the Adelaide Grand Prix circuit around Victoria Park, with the first competition car to be flagged away at 12.30pm. The cars will run at 30-second intervals with the outright Competition cars to be followed by the Regularity, Thoroughbred and Tour categories.

The Prologue consists of just over two laps totalling 3.35km with the times providing the seeding for the event proper, which gets underway on Thursday morning.

Day one of the rally proper will take crews into the Barossa Valley with day two heading down the Fleurieu Peninsula, Day three around the Adelaide Hills and the final day on Sunday heading into the picturesque McLaren Vales before finishing in central Adelaide on Sunday afternoon.

The rally covers just over 1000 kilometres in total with more than 250 competitive kilometres over 31 closed road special stages.

Organisers have redoubled their efforts in terms of safety to ensure the event’s impeccable safety record remains in this year’s event.

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