Adelaide votes to preserve “culturally significant” former-F1 venue
Adelaide City Council members have voted to ‘preserve’ the parkland section of the former Formula 1 circuit after calls to “rip out” the asphalt.
Adelaide hosted the first official Australian Grand Prix in 1985 and was raced on for 11 years before the sport moved from South Australia to Victoria and Melbourne in 1996.
The circuit saw some memorable moments including the title-deciding clash between Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill in 1994, Nigel Mansell’s dramatic blowout in 1986 and, until this year’s Belgian GP, what was the shortest race on record in 1991.
“It was the Formula 1 Grand Prix track that put Adelaide on the global map, so to speak, and it is definitely a culturally significant asset,” said Councillor Alexander Hyde.
“We should be preserving this asset. This sends the message to the community that this track is here to stay and it is an important part of our culture and our history.”
In the meeting, concerns were raised about the 1,200-metre section of asphalt leading to “overheating in summer due to climate change and a lack of tree canopy”. In response, a solution of extending the tree canopy was proposed.
Australian Supercars returned Adelaide to use in 1999 but after the event was axed from the calendar for 2021 with state support instead being offered to nearby circuit The Bend, assets including the grandstands and pit buildings have been sold.
Despite this, rumours continue to circulate over Adelaide joining the Formula E calendar, with the shorter parkland layout an unobtrusive potential venue.
“There are ambitions within the community for some sort of racing, to a lesser extent, coming back,” Hyde added.
“Something that uses the short track, something that’s quite unobtrusive; certainly not the very dystopian concrete and tyres for months on end that we, unfortunately, became every used to seeing around Victoria Park.”
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October 13, 2021 at 03:31PM