Supercars 2022: Supercars want Adelaide 500 finale to become ‘on par with Bathurst’ in its return

Rebecca WilliamsNews Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Supercars will meet with the new South Australian government once it is sworn in to ramp up preparations for the return of the Adelaide 500 to the V8 championship this season, reviving an event “on a par with Bathurst”.

In a result Bathurst 1000 winner Nick Percat described as a “really big deal” for the sport, Labor’s win in the SA election is set to bring the iconic Adelaide street race back from the dead.

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Premier-elect Peter Malinauskas vowed earlier this year to revive the Adelaide 500 if he won the state election, flagging December 1-4 dates for the event’s return this year.

Following the election result, Supercars confirmed its commitment to delivering the marquee street race as a season finale in December.

The Adelaide 500 was last held in 2020 before the outgoing SA government announced later that year it was scrapping the event, long one of Supercars’ biggest and most popular races.

Supercars chief executive Shane Howard said the series would now begin discussions with the new SA government to bring the “spectacular season finale” to life.

“We look forward to working with the Premier and the government on delivering the Adelaide 500,” Howard said.

“We will now begin discussions regarding the next steps of the development of the event.

“The Adelaide 500 is a marquee event that showcases Adelaide to a huge national and international audience, and we are delighted to welcome it back to the Repco Supercars championship.

“We are excited to now be working on delivering this marquee event once again.”

Adelaide 500
Camera IconRacing car driver Nick Percat with ( from left) musician Vince from Zep Boys, musician Crafty, Dave Gleeson from the Screaming Jets, fellow race driver Todd Hazelwood, MP Peter Malinauskas, fellow race driver Scott Pye and a crowd of Adelaide 500 race enthusiasts. Credit: News Corp Australia

Before it was axed, the Adelaide 500 had owned a place on the Supercars calendar since 1999 and had traditionally provided a blockbuster opening to the season.

South Australian-born driver Percat, who had been vocal in pushing for the event’s return, said the Adelaide 500 was as big for the sport as Bathurst.

“It’s on a par with Bathurst to be honest,” the 2011 Bathurst 1000 champion said.

“The amount of history in Adelaide with motorsport and the event itself is way more than a car race. The car race element is nearly the small part. The whole atmosphere and the way South Australia and everyone gets behind it is huge.

“It’s a really big deal and I think in terms of events around the world it is up there as one of the best with the entertainment that comes with it and all the off-track stuff going on and obviously the car race as well.

SUPERLOOP
Camera IconThe iconic Adelaide 500 Supercar event always draws a massive audience. Credit: News Corp Australia

“It’s pretty amazing for motorsport, Supercars and South Australia to have it coming back.

“It’s one of those events that started the dream for me and a lot of drivers on the grid.”

The likely return of the Adelaide 500 would complete a blockbuster finish to the Supercars season with the Bathurst 1000, Gold Coast 600 and Adelaide filling the final three rounds.

It is still unclear whether the round at Newcastle will return this year after its original place on the calendar for the opening race of the season was replaced by Sydney Motorsport Park due to difficulties arising from the Omicron wave.

The Supercars championship resumes at Symmons Plains this weekend.

All eyes on me: Young gun’s plan for Supercars dominance

Rookie Broc Feeney has declared he won’t be intimidated by his more experienced rivals on track after receiving a fierce initiation to his Supercars career in Sydney.

But the Triple Eight young gun said his goal was not to prove how tough he was but how fast he could be for the championship winning team.

Feeney admitted his car had been left with “a lot of scuff marks” after grinding panels with his rivals as they welcomed him to the main game in his debut as a full-time Supercars driver.

The teenager, who has replaced seven-time Supercars champion turned Triple Eight team boss Jamie Whincup, made an impressive start to his V8 career after qualifying for both top-10 shootouts and finishing ninth and 11th at Sydney Motorsport Park earlier this month.

Ahead of this week’s second-round at Symmons Plains, Feeney said he had learned from his debut experience, which confirmed he had a “target” on his back after securing one of the most coveted drives in pit lane at the age of 19.

Feeney was confident he could give as good as he got but said his best defence was to attack by putting his car at the front of the grid.

“I would say for sure I have got a bit of a target on me,” Feeney said.

“I have taken the drive that everyone wants and I am a rookie as well.

“I am expecting hard racing and at the same time that’s what I am going to give them back.

“At the end of the day, I don’t want to be swapping paint with other cars, I want to be trying to battle up the front for race wins.

“My whole goal is not to try and prove how tough I am, it is trying to prove how fast I can be.

“My car certainly had a lot of scuff marks on it but to be honest that’s to be expected when you are towards the back-end of the top 10.

“It was hard racing, I enjoyed it and hopefully we can be a bit further up the grid at the next couple and a bit cleaner racing.”

After becoming the youngest ever driver to claim the Super2 feeder series championship last year, Feeney admitted he had expected the racing — and the attention he received — to go up a level in Supercars.

“I was expecting it to be real hard, especially from where I have come from in Super3 and Super2 in the last few years,” Feeney said.

“That’s the biggest difference in the main series is you have got 24 competitive guys and they are all trying to beat you when you get on the track.

“We are all fighting over the same surface and it’s just my job to make sure I try and do a better job than those guys.”

Feeney said he had been heartened by his opening round results, especially putting his car in fourth place on the grid for the Sunday race.

“The two top-10 shootouts were definitely the highlight, especially Sunday qualifying fourth,” Feeney said.

“But overall I think it was a good weekend, there were plenty of positives to take out of it.

“I think the biggest positive for me was in the second race I qualified fourth and I was mixing it with the best guys. I was battling for the lead at the start of that race.

“That is definitely a positive for me to show that I can run with those guys and I was battling with Brodie (Kostecki), Anton (De Pasquale) and Chaz (Mostert) was a little bit behind us at that stage but they are all the guys that ended up on the podium.

“I know if things do all fall our way and I do a good job that the podium is definitely within reach and hopefully the win isn’t too far away.

“But for me it is one step at a time, I got my first top 10s and hopefully going into Tassie I can improve and hopefully be in that top five and the biggest thing for me is just to keep improving week in week out.”

Originally published as Supercars 2022: Supercars want Adelaide 500 finale to become ‘on par with Bathurst’ in its return

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