Adelaide 500 return beckons as Marshall concedes defeat

The Adelaide 500 is poised to return in 2022. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Steven Marshall has conceded defeat in the South Australia state election to Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas, opening the door for the return of the Adelaide 500 on December 1-4.

Voting in the state election closed at 18:00 local time/ACDT, with preliminary results leaning heavily in favour of South Australian Labor leader Malinauskas.

Although less than half of all votes have been counted, South Australian Liberal Party leader Marshall has conceded defeat.

“Ladies and gentleman, I called the Leader of the Opposition Peter Malinauskas a few moments ago,” said Marshall at a Liberal Party function.

“I conceded and I congratulated him on his campaign and congratulated him on being the 47th Premier of South Australia.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been an honour and a privilege and a pleasure to serve as the Premier of South Australia.”

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marshall announced the Adelaide 500 would be axed on the advice of the South Australian Tourism Commission.

That came just two months after the same commission revealed the event would become the Supercars season finale in 2021.

The axing led to a swift response from Malinauskas, who signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Supercars and then CEO Sean Seamer.

The Adelaide 500 has been part of the Malinauskas campaign, announcing in February that the event would return this year on December 1-4 if elected. Now, the door has been opened with his expected win over Marshall.

Supercars last raced on the streets of Adelaide in 2020.

In the wake of the event’s demise, some infrastructure that made up the Adelaide Parklands Circuit was moved to The Bend Motorsport Park.

The shift of concrete barriers and a bridge among other items came as a result of both market transactions and sponsorship agreements, according to Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed in comments to a parliamentary committee last September.

With Labor’s win, the South Australian Motor Sport Board is set to be reformed, having been dissolved in 2015 by Labor’s then-Premier Jay Weatherill.

Since 2015, the Adelaide 500 has been under the control of the South Australian Tourism Commission/Events SA.

Although the sale of circuit assets complicates the return of the event to a degree, it’s understood some circuit infrastructure used for the Gold Coast and Newcastle street events will likely be utilised.

As it stands, the Gold Coast 600 is the last event listed on the Repco Supercars Championship calendar on October 28-30.

Now, the Adelaide 500 is poised to close out the season on the first weekend of December should Malinauskas make good on his election promise.

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