POLL: The return of the Adelaide 500
Monday 21st March, 2022 - 2:47pm
With the Adelaide 500 poised to return later this year, we ask in this week’s Pirtek Poll what aspect of the event matters the most to you.
The Adelaide Parklands Circuit is set to roar back to life with the sound of Supercars courtesy of Labor’s win over Liberal in the South Australia state election on Saturday.
Newly-appointed Premier Peter Malinauskas has promised the event’s return on December 1-4, and should the event come to fruition, Supercars will be the headline act.
What matters most to you to ensure the event returns with a bang?
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In years past, the likes of Robbie Williams, Cold Chisel, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have played to tens of thousands of racegoers.
Even though there are less than nine months until this year’s event, there have been whispers of at least one high-profile band making a cameo.
Those years when the aforementioned bands attended, the event enjoyed healthy 250,000-plus crowds.
Although not the be-all and end-all, the 2020 running of the event lacked an international headliner, and coincidentally suffered a fall in spectator figures.
Is a headline music act alongside Supercars what the event needs most?
As an independently promoted event, the Adelaide 500 has seen some unique support category offerings for fans.
The Stadium Super Trucks made an emphatic Australian debut in 2015 on the streets of Adelaide and were a fan favourite thereafter.
The Audi R8 LMS Cup, the German marque’s answer to Porsche Carrera Cup, was a short-lived experience, lasting just one event in 2018.
The last running of the Adelaide 500 in 2020 saw National Trans Am play support to Supercars for the first time.
Assuming the event remains independently promoted, perhaps that could open the door for Australian Racing Group properties TCR or S5000 to appear.
SuperSprint, three-race format
Between 2014 and 2016, the Adelaide 500 was run to a three-race format, all three of which featured different race lengths.
Across those three years, there were no repeat race winners over the course of each weekend.
The last three-race Adelaide 500 in 2016 saw an incredible battle between James Courtney and Jamie Whincup in Race 2 followed by Nick Percat’s iconic win for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Supercars has toyed with the formats over the years, opting for a mix of race distances to make up the 500km total.
Super500, two-race format
While the three-race format enjoyed some success between 2014 and 2016, the Adelaide 500 has long been known as two-race weekend.
During the height of summer, the two 250km races are often recognised as two of the toughest single driver races of the year.
Notwithstanding the coronavirus-induced Bathurst 1000 season finales of 2020 and 2021, Supercars has closed its season with two 250km races since 2016.
Supercars has yet to confirm what format the event will run to.
Off-track fan engagement
The Adelaide 500 has long been a favourite of fans, not only for the on-track entertainment but the off-track value too.
Fan zones, merchandise, stunts, demonstrations, show and shine, food alleys, and car manufacturer and brand engagements have given fans plenty to do away from the circuit.
It’s something that hallmark events like the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix and Australian Open make the most of, making it more than just about the competition.
New and improved spectator facilities
The red and blue grandstand that sits adjacent to the front straight has long been an iconic part of the circuit.
Could some new and innovative spectator facilities draw crowds in? If the promoters want to breathe fresh life into the event, then that might be a focal point worth tapping into.
What’s not yet known is what the circuit might look like, given that some infrastructure has been sold off.
However, it’s understood the lion’s share of it could be available to event organisers.
What matters most to you? Case your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll below.