Of all the stunning news of Covid-2020, nothing is more stunning than the revelation that the Adelaide 500 is dead.
That is D.E.A.D.
Politicians in South Australia have decided that the biggest sporting event in the state, and a massive flag waver and money earner, is no longer viable.
News of the cancellation of the Supercars headliner comes through News Limited, the sport’s official media partner, in a front-page bombshell by the Adelaide Advertiser.
“Covid-19 has presented significant challenges for the events sector, and the uncertainty and other factors became an unsurmountable hurdle in the plight to deliver a successful race,” the state’s Premier, Steven Marshall, told the ’tiser.
“The Superloop Adelaide 500 has been an event icon for over 20 years, and this decision was made with careful consideration.”
It’s a massive kick in the guts for Supercars, which has gone above and beyond to deliver a viable touring car championship in 2020.
It could also have worrying implications for other government-funded events on the Supercars calendar.
But the mood in Adelaide has changed, something that was obvious at this year’s season opener in South Australia. Grandstands were missing, staffing was down, the support program was not as sharp, and there were fewer fans.
It also appears that the mood has changed in government, and government departments, in Adelaide.
“South Australia sets the benchmark for delivering world-class events, and we will continue to invest in this space to create local jobs,” said Marshall.
He suggested that the future focus could shift to The Bend, which has been pushing for more involvement in Supercars, but Race News was unable to contact track boss Sam Shahin to get his take on the news.
Meantime, figures for the Adelaide 500 reveal that more than 5.8 million people have attended the Supercars event since it began in 1999, largely as a reaction to losing the Australian Formula One Grand Prix to Melbourne.
“We remain a strong supporter of motorsports and will move swiftly to assess all options for motorsport future events,” said Marshall.