Temporary dirt speedway set for parklands as Adelaide 500 organisers unveil plans for anniversary event

An area of Adelaide’s parklands will be turned into a dirt speedway under plans unveiled for the 25th year of the Supercars event in the city’s east end.

Previous events have featured a motorcross area for bikes built in front of the heritage grandstand inside Victoria Park.

However, this would be the first time sprintcars would appear as part of the Adelaide 500.

Event chief executive Mark Warren said organisers were looking at Rymill or King Rodney Parks as potential locations for the speedway.

He said about 3,500 square-metres of dirt will be used to construct the speedway.

“Even for supercross, we need to build a supercross track and that’s a lot of dirt mounds,” he said.

“We’ve done that in the past … and so we’re doing the same again. Speedway is no different. We’ll bring in a heap of dirt then we’ll take it out again.”

Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith criticised organisers for how the plans had been communicated.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

In a statement, Adelaide Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith hit out at organisers and how plans for the event had been handled.

“I think the Motorsport Board’s unwillingness to explain their full intentions for the Park Lands for the 2024 event, and the fact we learned of the supercross and sprintcars plans through the media, is very disappointing,” she said.

“It’s also disrespectful to the local community and not a way I would expect an organisation funded by the state government to behave.”

Mr Warren said the Adelaide 500 organisation had a “long history” of leaving the parklands in a “better state than what we found them.”

“This will be no different,” he said.

Speedway construction ‘fits within’ extended works schedule

Mr Warren said construction of the speedway “fits within” the organisation’s build schedule for the event, which sees temporary buildings, grandstand and walls erected for the four days of racing in November.

“We’ve got a team of specialists when it comes to building temporary circuits, so building a temporary speedway is well within our remit,” he said.

Sprintcars are open wheeled race cars, which event organisers say have a better power-to-weight ratio than Formula One.

“I think we’ve surprised a few people having the sprintcars coming into the city,” Mr Warren said.

Clipsal 500 crowd

The crowd at the 2016 Clipsal 500 event in Adelaide.(Twitter: @Clipsal500)

“I don’t think anyone expected that as something that we’d do because it’s not naturally a sprintcar speedway circuit at our event.”

The sprintcars will run on Thursday and Friday nights of the Adelaide 500. ABC News has been told they need to comply with the same noise constraints as the event’s concerts, which run on the weekend.

The lord mayor said the Adelaide Park Lands Authority received a briefing from event organisers last week when they were told an extra 63,000 square metres of parklands would be needed for this year’s Adelaide 500.

“We were shocked to not only find out about the extra space required but about the increase in time the area will be blocked to the community,” she said.

Documents presented to the Park Lands Authority show an extra week is needed for the Adelaide 500’s prescribed works period, the time organisers have to erect and dismantle infrastructure.

Adelaide Parklands Association president Shane Sody said restrictions linked to the event would now be in place for more than five months.

“They are fencing off more and more of your parklands to facilitate this,” he said.

Bands Cold Chisel and Crowded House have been announced as the headline acts for the after-race concerts to be held on the weekend of the event.

“I challenge any South Australian to not recall a time where at least once they’ve found themselves, you know, singing to themselves a Cold Chisel song,” Premier Peter Malinauskas said.

Source: abc.net.au

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