A controversial move by the South Australian government would put an end to any attempts to revive the Adelaide 500.
The South Australian government is moving to sell-off the infrastructure used by now-defunct Adelaide 500 Supercars race, potentially putting an end to any attempts to revive the iconic event.
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that overpasses, grandstands and other assets will be sold or transferred to The Bend racetrack, southeast of Adelaide, with an auction to take place within months.
At its peak, the street race attracted crowds of 300,000 across the four days, having been a fixture on the Supercars calendar for two decades.
It was suddenly axed last October, with Premier Steve Marshall claiming the uncertainty around COVID-19 presented an “insurmountable hurdle in the plight to deliver a successful race.”
South Australia’s opposition leader, Peter Malinauskas, hit out at the move to sell off the assets, and has promised to rescue the race if he wins the next state election, due in March 2022.
“The rushed sell-off of the Adelaide 500 infrastructure by Steven Marshall is a blatant attempt to sabotage the people of South Australia from having their say on the future of the iconic race,” he tweeted.
A spokeswoman for SA Tourism told the Advertiser the infrastructure would be sold as soon as possible.
“There is a significant amount of items in storage and it is the financially responsible decision to divest equipment that is not required. The plan is to dispose of the assets as soon as an auction house is engaged,” she said.
Supercars first raced on the Adelaide street circuit in 1999, using much of the former Formula One track, with the event held for the last time in 2020, with Scott McLaughlin winning just weeks before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision by the government to cancel the race drew widespread condemnation from the Supercars community, with Bathurst champion Nick Percat, who won in Adelaide in 2016, particularly vocal.
“F1 put Adelaide on the map, Supercars took that over and held one of the biggest events in the nation and created jobs and massive revenue for the state, motorsport is ingrained in SA and will be sorely miss(ed),” he tweeted when the news was announced.
“Thank you to everyone involved in helping make the event happen.
“The reason I wanted to be a Supercars driver was because of the Adelaide 500 … F U to the idiot who made this decision.”
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