A South Australian Government project to improve city access is set to permanently remove the possibility of the Clipsal 500 reverting to Adelaide’s full Grand Prix circuit layout.
The proposal unveiled today will see Rundle Road, which was dubbed Jones Straight when hosting Formula 1 between 1985 and 1995, converted into parklands.
The change is part of a $160 million development centred around extending the existing O-Bahn bus line from Hackney Road into Grenfell Street via a tunnel.
The works, which could be completed by the end of 2017, includes constructing a new Rundle Road further to the south which will connect with Grenfell Street.
Clipsal 500 CEO Mark Warren told Speedcafe.com that, should it be signed off, the development will have no direct impact on the current Clipsal 500 precinct.
“From what I’ve seen it will not impede the track that we use currently,” confirmed Warren.
“It really just comes up to the current event border in the parklands, so I don’t think it will cause any issues.”
The V8 Supercars have run on the shorter, 3.2km, track layout since the first Adelaide 500 took place in 1999.
Although the 3.7km version was revered as one of the world’s greatest street circuits in its Formula 1 years, the revised layout is cheaper to construct and has less impact on city traffic.
The grand prix circuit was last used in December, 2000, when Adelaide hosted the ‘Race of a Thousand Years’ for Le Mans Series sportscars.
“There have not been any thoughts that we would go back to that track format, for a whole bunch of reasons,” said Warren of the V8 Supercars event.
“In the 20 years since it was last used the road conditions have changed a lot and quite frankly we could not have gone back to that format anyway without a lot of traffic congestion issues.”
Recent discussions over bringing other international motorsport acts to Adelaide, such as Formula E, have also focussed on utilising the shorter track layout.
VIDEO: Adelaide City Access project explained