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End of the road for the Adelaide Street Circuit?


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#1 Ben1445

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 17:08

I'm not sure we have a thread for this? 

 

The Adelaide 500 was cancelled in October 2020 and the circuit has remained dormant since. Grandstands and barriers were put up for auction in April 2021: https://www.abc.net....-away/100086964

 

Seems like the pit building now also facing auction and there may be plans to re-landscape the purpose built section of track: 

https://www.speedcaf...ircuit-torn-up/

 

Could this be the end? 



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#2 balage06

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 17:17

I could have sworn I read discussion about this on the forum and how they want to turn it into an electric race eventually and it looks like I wasn't dreaming:

https://indaily.com....with-formula-e/



#3 Ben1445

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 17:21

That is definitely interesting. I’d heard rumours about that dating back to pre-covid times, though I must admit I wasn’t aware that they may still be active.

Question is whether the circuit infrastructure sell-off helps or hinders any of those efforts, perhaps.

Edited by Ben1445, 10 October 2021 - 17:23.


#4 Risil

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 18:56

It's sad but cities always move on from these events. Unless there's a really compelling case to restart racing in Adelaide, I hope they try and preserve something modest but evocative from the track itself, and that some collectors can put together a little museum. It was an important event in the history of Grand Prix racing and I assume for Australian motor racing too.



#5 jwill189

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 19:00

It's sad but cities always move on from these events. Unless there's a really compelling case to restart racing in Adelaide, I hope they try and preserve something modest but evocative from the track itself, and that some collectors can put together a little museum. It was an important event in the history of Grand Prix racing and I assume for Australian motor racing too.

 

I still prefer the Adelaide street course over Melbourne.



#6 cpbell

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 20:44

I still prefer the Adelaide street course over Melbourne.

Same here.



#7 Risil

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 22:01

Me three. F1's greatest street circuit?

#8 Izzyeviel

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 22:25

Me three. F1's greatest street circuit?

*after Monaco



#9 MaxCrazyEddieCayer

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Posted 10 October 2021 - 23:39

Me three. F1's greatest street circuit?



Definitely. There was something magic about Adelaide closing off the season, it also meant staying up late as a kid the late 80’s /early 90’s with cousin Alex (who was and is still my partner in crime when it comes to racing) to watch those races, and those iconic blue/red/yellow kerbs. Might be rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, but this track as a special place in my heart. Only a few nights ago, I was checking Adelaide over google maps and finding the track within the city.

#10 Cornholio

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 01:19

Definitely. There was something magic about Adelaide closing off the season, it also meant staying up late as a kid the late 80’s /early 90’s with cousin Alex (who was and is still my partner in crime when it comes to racing) to watch those races, and those iconic blue/red/yellow kerbs. Might be rose tinted glasses of nostalgia, but this track as a special place in my heart. Only a few nights ago, I was checking Adelaide over google maps and finding the track within the city.


Yeah was definitely a big part of my childhood staying up late for the season finale. And being able to justify to my parents that this was seriously important and that they couldn't shove me off to bed early this one time.

Although to be fair Melbourne did carry that on in the early years, just at the start of the season instead of the end. It was only when Bernie forced it a few hours forward and made it more of a Sunday morning race (I'm guessing to satisfy more lucrative time zones elsewhere) that I stopped watching the race.

#11 Gary Davies

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 02:33

South Australia has fixed term state elections. The next election will take place on Saturday, March 19 2022. The current incumbent party is the Liberal Party. At this time they are ruling in minority. Many, including myself, believe they are going to be very hard put to win the election. The Opposition is the Australian Labor Party.

 

Here is a report from the ABC dated Mon 2 Nov 2020

 

Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas flew to Sydney today to speak with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer and sign a memorandum and make an election promise to bring the (Adelaide 500) race back to Adelaide.

"We were able to sign a memorandum of understanding which puts me in a position to commit that a future Labor government will bring it back to the streets of Adelaide, where it belongs," Mr Malinauskas said.

 

That said, politicians in this country have a long, painstaking and thoroughly well-earned reputation for failing to follow through with commitments they made ahead of elections. So.... my breath I'm holding not!!!

 

It is/was my local track and it was wonderful to be at the Grand Prix all those years. The proximity of the track, at its western end, to eateries in Rundle Street lent it a fabulous atmosphere, way better than Albert Park. I was privileged, for most of those years, to have a full access pass (via my work) and I especially recall, one year, spending the whole race in the Williams garage, drinking in the ebb and flow of activity with Frank in the background, overseeing it all. A never to be repeated experience, I'm sure.

 

I think Adelaide was a better track to view on television than being there. Perhaps because I'm not a grandstand person, preferring to wear out shoe leather walking around tracks where that's possible, I invariably found that its flatness (lacking the mounds that surround a lot of the track in Melbourne) made viewing difficult at any interesting parts because, naturally, that's where great throngs of spectators would gather.

 

A final recollection. At the start of the 1989 race, the film crew of which I was a part, decided to abandon the filming leaving me free to do what I liked. I decided to walk the circuit in the bit between the crowd enclosures and the concrete barriers - getting happily soaking wet into the bargain. I was at the Stag Corner when Mansell ran into the barrier in the Ferrari 640. As he trudged back around the track towards the pits I followed him and realised why he was such a crowd favourite. First one glove, then the other, then his balacklava were flung into the grandstands, and all the way, he was waving to the spectators. They loved it!


Edited by Gary Davies, 11 October 2021 - 02:55.


#12 statman

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 12:49



#13 F1matt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 13:25

As a non-Australian it always seems that Melbourne gets everything in regards to major events?



#14 cjm321190

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 13:35

Like London in the UK. Where is our Birmingham super prix f1 or Birmingham super E prix.

#15 Atreiu

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 14:12

Me three. F1's greatest street circuit?

 

Or at least the best street circuit in which I have seen F1 race (started floowing it closely in 1990).



#16 Risil

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 14:13

Like London in the UK. Where is our Birmingham super prix f1 or Birmingham super E prix.

 

Silverstone's midway between Birmingham and London. As it should be.



#17 Ben1445

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 14:42

South Australia has fixed term state elections. The next election will take place on Saturday, March 19 2022. The current incumbent party is the Liberal Party. At this time they are ruling in minority. Many, including myself, believe they are going to be very hard put to win the election. The Opposition is the Australian Labor Party.

 

Here is a report from the ABC dated Mon 2 Nov 2020

 

Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas flew to Sydney today to speak with Supercars CEO Sean Seamer and sign a memorandum and make an election promise to bring the (Adelaide 500) race back to Adelaide.

"We were able to sign a memorandum of understanding which puts me in a position to commit that a future Labor government will bring it back to the streets of Adelaide, where it belongs," Mr Malinauskas said.

 

That said, politicians in this country have a long, painstaking and thoroughly well-earned reputation for failing to follow through with commitments they made ahead of elections. So.... my breath I'm holding not!!!

I was definitely reading opinions about this elsewhere that the Liberal Party almost seem to be trying to end the possibility of using the track again so that it is harder for the opposition to use the promise of reviving racing there as a votes winner. 

 

If someone could be persuaded to pay for new track infrastructure then I guess the grandstand/barrier/pits sell-offs themselves aren't too much of a logistical issue, if perhaps a little bit stupid from a purely resources standpoint. Re-landscaping or otherwise ripping up permanent track sections might be harder to overcome. 

 

I do quite fancy the idea of a rebirth of the venue with new money pumped into future proofing it for the next generation. If someone did want to come a long and pay for all that (as in balage06's link) then that may be interesting. 

 

But certainly from a very outside persecutive, things do look rather uncertain for the future circuit whilst it is caught in the political crossfire like this. 


Edited by Ben1445, 11 October 2021 - 14:43.


#18 loki

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 16:30

I didn’t even know it was still around.  I ASSumed it would come and go like a traditional street event.  Hopefully it can come back.  A Supercar/Indycar double header there would be great.



#19 cjm321190

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 17:55

Silverstone's midway between Birmingham and London. As it should be.



Silverstone is great but formula e could use the Birmingham e prix. Would be fun.

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#20 William Hunt

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 20:38

I always liked Adelaïde more as Melbourne



#21 Gary Davies

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Posted 12 October 2021 - 16:04

Another little Adelaide story. In the second year of the race, I had for the first time one of the hallowed go anywhere passes. As you left behind the public areas and walked towards the (temporary) pit building complex, you passed by one of a number of Portakabins, with neat printed signs announcing the name and position of the various officials who occupied them. 
These were simple structures set beside a dusty gravel track. One of them bore a sign saying: Mr B. Ecclestone. All very basic and temporary. 
The following year I walked along the same dusty track and there were the same humble Portakabins but when I approached the one with the Mr B Ecclestone sign it now sported a dinky little pond in front of it - no more than a couple of meters in diameter - complete with a dinky little bridge over it, some newly laid grass turfs and three or four pots with little conifers or such in them. 
All delightfully twee. It stood out like the proverbial sore thumb because, if I recall correctly, all the others were their original bare bones selves.

I’m imagining that at some point during the previous event, The Great Man had ‘had a word’ with someone.



#22 Gary Davies

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 03:37

A bit more. The article referenced in the OP may have been a beat up. At least, the headline - "Adelaide councillor wants historic circuit torn up" - may have been a beat up. I have just been listening to an interview with the gentleman in question - Adelaide City Councillor in question, Greg Mackie - and he swears black and blue that, in his words, "My intention is not and never been to rip up the track."

 

He went on to say that he has proposed that the Grand Prix track within the Adelaide Parklands receives a Heritage Listing, which would protect it. He further claimed that his original suggestion was merely for a tree planting program to offset the heatsink effect of the track. I have to say, however,  that my scepticism is reduced but totally eliminated.

 

In the words of Mark Twain, "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed."

 

 

Also worth noting that Greg Mackie is also the CEO for the South Australian History Trust for whatever that's worth.

 

The radio station on which the interview took place invited SMS messages from listeners and read out half a dozen of them. All were very much in favour of ripping up the track but it must be said that it was an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) station and the ABC is notoriously left/greenie leaning with an older demographic and so it  may follow that many of their listeners are of a similar disposition. Against that, I think I'm right in saying that the last Grand Prix in Adelaide, 1995, attracted something like 500,000 fans over the course of the meeting, a world record at the time.

 

Fact is, the track gets a lot of use. Right now, it is the site of a 24/7 Covid testing site. In early November a couple of hundred classic cars (mine included) will be setting off from the starting grid of the GP track on a much loved event, "Climb to The Eagle". This event has run every year since the last Adelaide GP.

 

I think the track is safe.



#23 Ben1445

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Posted 13 October 2021 - 11:58

I guess a concern for the future of racing there would be that protecting the track surface and the heritage of it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will remain in a raceable condition.

Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico would be a good example here, in which the track itself is almost entirely preserved but returning the venue to a racing condition is a tall order.

If a tree planting program to reduce the heat sink effect meant putting trees in the present run-offs, for example, that would make racing as we know it very difficult.

#24 thegamer23

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 07:08

Adelaide saved, for now!
 

https://www.motorspo...-track/6685821/

 

I still would love to see Formula E there



#25 Ben1445

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Posted 14 October 2021 - 08:02

There's some punchy quotes in there from one of those supporting removing of the track entirely: 
 

"I would prefer to rip out the racing car track and all remnants of other cement features that are still there," Moran told the council. "In doing so I would like the permanently remove the danger of bringing [back] motorsports of the kind we have seen, excusing perhaps electrics cars, of the tired barriers, the petrol fumes...

"If there's a historical use of Victoria Park it was for horse racing. That's pandering to the petrol heads. Surely we are better than that now.

"I say rip up the track, plant some trees and get a decent cycle track. It shouldn't be our long-term plan to mothball this relic of the petrol-guzzling, carbon-depleting bad old days."


And also this is kind of interesting: 
 

On the request of other councillors the motion was split in two parts, one effectively covering off the revised green space plan for more tree canopy and the other for the assessment of heritage listing for the circuit.

The first passed with a unanimous vote, however the heritage listing plan only got through by a single vote in favour.


So sounds like there will be green-space landscaping and more tree canopy in any case, but the track itself will be listed as a heritage site and protected?

But also there's still the door open for electric racing in the future, even from those in favour of full-on ripping up the track.

#26 Gary Davies

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 02:56

Yeah well... Ann Moran. The loosest of loose cannons in Adelaide City Council... and that council is the current champion of loose cannons.



#27 LittleChris

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Posted 15 October 2021 - 16:14

Anyone thinking Adelaide was the best street circuit for F1 clearly has never heard of Montjuich Park !

#28 king_crud

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Posted 18 October 2021 - 11:17

As a non-Australian it always seems that Melbourne gets everything in regards to major events?


They see themselves as the sporting capital of Australia. I went to Adelaide 93 & 95 and Melbourne 96 & 97. Adelaide went mad for the race, the whole area around the circuit was closed off with pop up shops, food etc, a real party atmosphere. Melbourne just kept on going about their day when their race was on, another event ticked off the list