The Shannons Adelaide Rally includes competitive and non-competitive touring categories to suit drivers and vehicles of all levels. Participating vehicles range from purpose-built racing machines to stock standard cars, and they compete or participate in a number of different ways.


This is the premium category in the event, running over the full four days. There are two separate competitions: Classic, for vehicles made prior to 1986, and Modern, for vehicles manufactured from 1986 onward. A third category, Category S, is available for those whose vehicles do not comply with rally regulations.

The category is timed and trophies awarded to the top three placegetters in Classic and Modern categories. 

All competition cars must be fitted with safety equipment including a full roll cage, and the drivers and co-drivers must wear helmets and full safety gear.
Competitors are released at 30-second intervals on each stage and timed, and the competition is run under rally regulations.  


The Heritage Trophy competition will be run in 2019 within the Classic Competition class, with trophies for the top three placegetters. The Heritage Trophy is a handicap competition that aims to level the playing field for smaller, less powerful vehicles.

Results will be determined by taking actual stage times for each vehicle and applying a time penalty to each stage time.


The Penalty Factor is determined by dividing the actual engine capacity, measured in cubic centimetres, in the competing vehicle by the amount in kilograms of the STANDARD, unmodified version of the vehicle type, model and variant.

For example, a Ford XY GT Falcon with an engine capacity of 5763cc and a weight of 1524kg would have a Penalty Factor of 5763÷1524 = 3.78. A Hillman Imp, with only 998cc and 725kg would have a Penalty Factor of 998÷725 = 1.37.

The Penalty Factor is then multiplied by the number of kilometres in each stage to determine the penalty time to be added to the stage time.
Using the examples above when applied to a 5.2km stage, the Falcon would have a 19.65 second penalty applied and the Hillman Imp a 7.12 second penalty applied, thus delivering an advantage to the Hillman Imp.


The Challenge category is also competitive, with trophies awarded to the top three Classic and Modern finishers. 

Challenge entrants have a speed limit of 130kmh, which is monitored by a Rallysafe device, with penalties for breaches of this limit. Technical freedoms exist in this class to allow entrants with highly modified street cars and hillclimb cars to enter, which may otherwise not meet regulations for the main competition.

A half roll cage is sufficient for this category, along with other safety requirements.


Redefining the spirited drive, the Spirit category runs over the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the Shannons Adelaide Rally. 

Spirit is an untimed, non-competitive category, with a speed limit on closed-road stages of 120kmh, monitored by a Rallysafe device. Entrants are required to wear helmets and meet other safety requirements.

While non-competitive, Spirit offers drivers the opportunity to focus purely on driving at swift road speeds, without oncoming traffic, cyclists or pedestrians 


The Main Tour category is all about the freedom of closed-road touring. Nowhere in Australia is there a tour with such intense serpentine roads in such close proximity to the event base and one with such a festive feel.


Participants run ahead of the Adelaide Rally competitors in packets, each with a tour leader who sets a swift and enjoyable pace on narrow, serpentine roads. Tour vehicles are required to observe posted speed limits, which allows for spirited driving on the tight and technical roads chosen for the Rally course.

The Main Tour incorporates various manufacturer tour groups.


The Shannons Prima Tour is a one-day event that is integrated into Day Two of the Shannons Adelaide Rally. It is open to modern and classic cars. The Prima Tour is a leisurely drive through some of the state's most picturesque driving roads, with a shot of adrenaline before lunch. 

As with the Main Tour, participants must observe posted speed limits, which allows for a challenging and enjoyable experience, using both sides of the road on five serpentine stages, including Anstey Hill, Chain of Ponds and Corkscrew.