Reassurance that Adelaide 500 build on-track

The Adelaide Parklands Circuit, days ago. Photo: Liz Neumann

The boss of the Valo Adelaide 500 has provided assurances that the circuit will be ready next week, despite tight timelines and reports of delays.

The event was a somewhat hasty addition to the 2022 Supercars calendar, fulfilling a promise made by now-Premier Peter Malinauskas ahead of the most recent South Australian election, in March.

That left less than nine months to get everything ready, a challenge made all the greater by the fact that much of the Adelaide Parklands Circuit required resurfacing, and other infrastructure was considered in need of renewal.

Now, Speedcafe.com sources and local reports suggest that work on building all of the infrastructure necessary for the event has been held up by factors including adverse weather conditions.

Such difficulties were acknowledged by Adelaide 500 CEO Mark Warren, but he nevertheless maintains that the circuit will be ready in coming days, ahead of the commencement of track activity on Thursday week (December 1).

“We have had extremely short timelines for this year’s event build, which is significantly larger than the 2020 precinct in going back to the original layout with concerts back to the oval and larger entertainment zone,” Warren told Speedcafe.com.

“This has required increased infrastructure build requirements, and there have been some challenges along the way due to spring weather, but we have a team of very experienced engineering and event management personnel who are getting the job done.

“The event precinct is starting to take shape and there is a certain buzz in the air.

“The pit building is due to be completed and operable by this Saturday 26 November. The race circuit build is due to be completed ahead of the circuit inspection on Tuesday 29 November, while all grandstands will be finalised the same day.

“We look forward to welcoming fans through the gates for the 2022 Valo Adelaide 500 on Thursday 1 December.”

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Further complicating the task of delivering this year’s Adelaide 500 is the liquidation of items such as bridges and concrete barriers since its abrupt axing by the previous government in October 2020.

As recently as December 2021, a pedestrian bridge was being sold in a “Final Clearance” auction, three months out from the election which would deliver the crucial change in government, and less than 12 months out from when the event itself will take place as the 2022 Supercars season finale.

The pit building was also to have been sold in October 2021, while overpasses once used to cross the Adelaide street circuit have since appeared at The Bend Motorsport Park.

The pit building which stood at the Adelaide Parklands Circuit in February 2020 is back, despite attempts to sell it before the change in government. Photo: Liz Neumann

It was thought that the pit building which is used for the Gold Coast and Newcastle events might have to be redeployed, but the sale of Adelaide’s never in fact came to pass, and the Parklands are taking on a similar look to how they were presented when Supercars last raced in the South Australian capital, in February 2020.

That includes some equipment which has come back from The Bend.

“As the return of the Valo Adelaide 500 was confirmed, we managed to retain the former pit building structure which had been sold, however we were fortunate the transaction failed to complete,” explained Warren.

“Pit building construction is being finalised this week ahead of being fully-operable from this Saturday, 26 November.

“A huge portion of the event’s existing infrastructure was sold off by the former government, so we have had to refabricate many key pieces of infrastructure that were lost – like concrete barriers, debris fencing and pedestrian overpasses – for 2022’s event and beyond.

“We were able to reacquire the event’s former pedestrian overpass on Wakefield Road west [Turn 4 braking zone] from The Bend Motorsport Park, and the Wakefield Road east overpass [between Turns 9 and 10] from another party, both of which will take-up their rightful place again at the Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit at the event.”

GALLERY: Adelaide 500 construction

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